SI Vault
December 24, 1956
Twenty-five years ago these 25 were learning the lessons of football—now they are furnishing U.S. leadership in business, medicine, law, theology, diplomacy, teaching, coaching and the military
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
December 24, 1956

1931-56: Men Of Achievement

Twenty-five years ago these 25 were learning the lessons of football—now they are furnishing U.S. leadership in business, medicine, law, theology, diplomacy, teaching, coaching and the military

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Iron Mike was the nickname clapped on Massad, half sardonically, when he first turned out for football at Oklahoma, a 150-odd pounder with fullback ambitions. With stubborn Syrian pride Mike Massad put on weight and muscle, won his fullback spot, worked hard to earn his way by cleaning floors and helping to build the east wing of the stadium. An ROTC man, he jumped into uniform before Pearl Harbor and wound up a colonel of artillery with a Silver Star medal for risking his life to help wipe out a Japanese position on Luzon. A successful businessman now in oil leases and housing, Mike Massad says: "Up to the time I played college football I was a pretty rough kid and I'd get into a fight at the drop of a hat. Matter of fact, I'd go out of my way to drop the hat. Then I found out about working with others—teamwork."


Physician and surgeon, McKeesport, Pa.

Somewhere along the line," says Ralph Dougherty, "everyone must find himself. For me it was the game we lost to Notre Dame 25-12, our only defeat that year. I learned that in a tough situation you've got to put a little more into it, more than you think you have. I also learned even that isn't always enough to win." Dougherty outcharged Notre Dame's All-America center, Tommy Yarr, that day and spilled enough other Notre Dames on the field to be elected to their all-opponents team, win All-America mentions himself. Surgeon Dougherty, whose job now is picking up people, was the son of a steamfitter and went to Pitt with the help of an athletic scholarship. Member of the American College of Surgeons, active in community and church affairs, he says: "I would have been a steam-fitter too if football hadn't offered me the chance of an education."

Southern Methodist

President, Southern Methodist University

When Southern Methodist played Texas on Oct. 31,1931 there were two future college presidents on the field. The team of the future president of SMU beat the team of the future president of the University of Maryland (see below) 9-7. Tackle Tate of SMU took his first job coaching football in a San Antonio high school (the same town where, 16 years before, an ex-West Pointer named Dwight Eisenhower coached football part-time). A college president needs learning, skill in administration and wizardry in reaching fiscal objectives. Tate proved his as teacher and graduate scholar, fund raiser, dean and vice-president before becoming SMU's president last year. He still retains enough unfettered enthusiasm for football to have been observed not long ago publicly demonstrating the Statue of Liberty play to a Methodist bishop (SI, Oct. 15).

University of Texas

President, University of Maryland

President Elkins describes himself as another man who would never have gone to college but for an athletic scholarship. Once Texas took him in, he showed how broad his talents really were: he played quarterback and wound up president of the student association, a Phi Beta and a Rhodes scholar (at Oxford he was history, track and Rugby). He is the only one of the Silver All-Americas who carries old football scars with him (a twice-broken left leg and trick knee), but like the rest he would do it again. At Maryland, where Elkins became president in 1954 after 15 years in Texas college presidencies, winning football has long been a matter of emphasis. Says Elkins, who is interested in raising the academic levels of football squads: "I don't say every football player should be a scholar but if it can give him a chance to learn, then it has been a good thing."

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8