Friday, August 21, 2015

First Winning Football Team

Football was played at the old Brockport Normal school as far back as the 1890s; Principal Charles McLean was the coach. The team played against some other schools, but there wasn't a formal program, no dedicated coaches, it was all rather casual by today's standards. After WWI football fell out of favor in many schools, due to controversy over injuries, and questions of "professionalism."

When WWII ended however it was decided to revive football, and Bob Boozer was hired as the coach. The first season was that of 1947. It takes time to grow a team, but in the fall of 1957 Brockport had its first winning football season, with a tally of 4-2-1. Shown here is halfback Bob Berg '58, who played on that winning team.

In 1987 Mike Andriatch, who was Sports Information Director then, organized a reunion of that team of '57.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Governor Harriman visits Brockport!

Well, he did, in October 1958! It was an election year, and Harriman, a Democrat, was running for his second term as governor against Nelson Rockefeller, Republican. Harriman was an interesting man. His father was a wealthy railroad baron, and when Harriman was a boy he went on his father's "Harriman Alaska Expedition," traveling on his father's yacht with a party that included such figures as John Muir and Edward Curtis. In the WWII years he was our ambassador to the Soviet Union.

However, unfortunately for Harriman, but perhaps fortunately for SUNY, Rockefeller won. Over the next decade or so he presided over a massive expansion of the state's public higher education system that saw schools like ours grow at a phenomenal rate. Brockport for example went from 1000 or so  students in 1958 to over 10,000 in the late '60s!