Sept. 26, 2000
Truman Announces 1900-1999 All-Century Football Team

This past summer a group of former Bulldog lettermen, Truman Athletic department administrators, a few knowledgeable citizens, former sports information director Bill Cable and current head football coach John Ware, set about the task of naming a Truman All-Century Football Team for the 20th century.

Bulldog football began in 1900 and over the first 100 years produced some of the most outstanding athletes at the NCAA Division II level. While many more were worthy of the honor, the committee tried to narrow the list down to an elite group of men whose marks on Bulldog football left a lasting impression. The group of 95 men, include six quarterbacks, 19 offensive linemen, seven tight ends, wide receivers, defensive backs and linebackers, 14 running backs and defensive linemen, 3 special teams players, 8 punters/place kickers and 4 coaches.

Eric Holm was the only member named twice to the team, once each as a receiver and coach. The earliest team member to be named is Jim Rouse, a standout offensive lineman for the Bulldogs who was first-team all-state in 1906 and 1907. The most recent selection is Jeff Klee who earned all-America status for Truman last year as one of the most prolific place kickers in school history. Special teams selection Charles Blakley is the only member with a legacy currently playing for the team in all-MIAA wide receiver Andrew Blakley.

Fifty-three of the men on the team have been inducted into the Truman Athletics Hall of Fame (their names are in italics), while offensive linemen Darrell Buffington and Jim Burchett, and quarterback Jeff Frost are scheduled to be inducted this coming Nov. 4.

At least 30 members of the team have since died, including offensive lineman Rich Rhodes, a casualty during the Vietnam war.

Though not a lot is known about the teams prior to World War II, a considerable effort was made to include those whose impact on the team in those early years lived on in newspapers and yearbooks from the era.

Football was not played at the University from 1901-1902, 1912-13, 1918 and 1942-44. However, in the second half of the century alone, more than 700 men earned letters as contributors to Bulldog football. At halftime today, Truman will honor slightly more than 30 members of the team who are in attendance.

Quarterbacks:

Arnold Embree, 1931-34: Embree lettered all four years in Kirksville and received all-MIAA honors in each. He earned all-state honors twice and all-America honors in his final year. The team's record during his career was an astounding 31-1-1. In his last three years, the 'Dogs went undefeated and captured MIAA conference titles, helping his team post one of the longest winning streaks in NCAA history at any level with a 27-game skein from 1931-35. No team has come close to duplicating the record achieved when Embree was quarterback. He was a charter member of the Truman Hall of Fame.

·Jeff Frost, 1987-90: Frost tops the Bulldog lists for career attempts (1,022), completions (484), touchdowns (50) and yardage (6,529). He earned first-team all-MIAA and conference MVP honors as a senior.

·Earl Hatcher, 1928-31: Hatcher was first-team MIAA in '30 and '31 and was known as one of the best broken field runners during the Don Faurot era.

·Tom Hayes, 1981-83: Hayes led the Bulldogs to their highest national ranking ever at fourth in 1982. He was a first-team all-MIAA pick, conference MVP and honorable mention all-America three times each. The Bulldogs won two conference titles under his direction. Hayes is second in career passing yards (5,939).

·Chris Hegg, 1984-85: Hegg still owns two Division II single season records for most offensive plays (594) and most games gaining over 300 yards of total offense (8). He owns 13 Bulldog single game and single season records. Hegg led the nation in total offense in 1985 with 343.8 yards per game and is one of 13 Bulldog first-team all-Americas.

·Louis Miller, 1935-37: Miller quarterbacked the team to two conference championships in '35 and '36. He was a co-captain in '37 and a selection to the first all-MIAA team.

 

Offensive Linemen:

·Stanley Barker, 1923-26: Barker made first-team all-conference twice and second-team once. He also served as team captain in '25 and made all-state in '26.

·Willie Barton, 1929-33: In addition to lettering in football, Barton also earned letters in track and basketball. He was a two-time all-MIAA offensive tackle, earning first-team honors in '32, and helped coach the 1933 squad.

·Darrell Buffington, 1975-78: Buffington lettered in each of his four seasons, and made the all-MIAA first-team in his last three. He also received honorable mention all-America honors as a senior. Buffington will be inducted into the Truman Hall of Fame this year.

·Jim Burchett, 1985-88: Burchett was a first-team all-conference choice three years, and earned honorable mention all-America status in '87 and '88. He will be inducted into the Truman Hall of Fame in November.

·Guy Curtwright, 1930-34: A naturally gifted athlete, Curtwright received all-MIAA recognition twice and was all-state once as a guard. He was also a member of the Truman baseball team and went on to play in the major leagues, setting a rookie hitting streak which stood until the mid-90's.

·LaVerne "Horse" Dabney, 1951-52: Dabney was a first-team all-MIAA pick in '51 and '52. He captained the team both years, leading them to consecutive co-conference championships. Dabney won the MIAA sportsmanship award his final year.

·Kenneth Gardner, 1940-47: Gardner received all-conference honors three times and was selected as an all-America lineman in '46. He later coached the Bulldog football, basketball, cross country and track teams, and served as athletics director from 1974-94. He was a charter member of the Truman Hall of Fame.

·Bob Haller, 1955-58: Haller won first-team all-America honors in '58 due to his reputation as a ferocious blocker. His final season also garnered him a share of the title of lineman of the year in the MIAA. Haller was just the second first-team all-America in school history.

·Scott Hull, 1991-94: Hull was a member of the '92 and '94 playoff teams. He was co-captain of the '94 squad. Hull earned first-team all-MIAA and first-team all-America honors following his senior season.

·Seldon Hutchinson, 1919-22: Hutchinson earned first-team all-state honors in '20, '21, and '22. He often led the way for Charley Draper, an all-state running back of the era.

·Melvin Loncaric, 1951-54: Loncaric helped the 'Dogs win four consecutive conference titles. He was first-team all-MIAA in '53 and '54 and was also named to the NAIA all-America first team in '54, the first Bulldog to earn first-team all-America recognition.

·John Trusten McArtor, 1928-31: McArtor earned all-MIAA honors three times as a guard in '28, '30 and '31. He served as team captain in '30. The teams McArtor played on won three conference championships.

·Matt McKnight, 1988-92: McKnight was a first-team all-MIAA choice in 1992, and earned second-team all-America status that year.

·Carl Noble, 1932-36: Noble lettered four years in football while receiving first-team all-conference and all-state recognition as a tackle twice.

·Rich Rhodes, 1962-65: Rhodes was named first-team all-conference as an offensive tackle and defensive end in the same season. He was also named Associated Press first-team all-America in '65. Rhodes died in Vietnam.

·Jack Robinson, 1931-34: After a stellar career for the Bulldogs that included three all-conference picks and an all-America selection, Robinson went on to play professional football from 1935-38 for four teams. He is a charter member of the Truman Athletics Hall of Fame.

·Jim Rouse, 1904-07: Rouse's earned him first-team all-state honors in his final two seasons. The teams Rouse performed on never had a losing season.

·Kevin Urbatsch, 1984-87: Urbatsch earned first-team all-MIAA honors in 1987, and was named a second-team all-America that year.

·Mike Yancey, 1980-83: A walk-on, Yancey attained the starting center assignment in his freshman season. He earned first-team all-MIAA honors in '81 and '83, and second-team all-MIAA status in '82. In '83, Yancey garnered second-team all-America honors.

 

Tight Ends:

·Matt Copeland, 1992-95: Copeland is seventh on the 'Dogs' career receptions list (107) and 11th in career receiving yardage (1,354). He was named to two second-team all-America squads in '95. Copeland currently serves as the 'Dogs' associate head coach.

·Orval Craig, 1926-28: This three-time all-conference performer captained the 1928 team that finished the season with a record of 7-2-1. Orval Craig was one of the first 13 members selected to the University's Athletic Hall of Fame.

·Robert Doyle, 1931-34: Doyle earned all-MIAA honors three times and all-state honors once. He also handled punting for the Bulldogs.

·Gary Isaia, 1985-88: Isaia was a first-team all-America and all-league pick in 1988. He led the team with 55 catches for 665 yards as a senior.

·Delbert Maddox, 1932-36: As a senior, Maddox received first-team all-MIAA recognition as well as second-team all-state honors. The Bulldogs only lost one game during his four years on the team.

·Milton McPike, 1958-62: He was the last Bulldog to win 12 letters at the University, participating in basketball, track and football. He won first-team all-conference honors in '61.

·Fontaine Walker, 1989-92: Walker was a first-team all-MIAA pick his last two years, and was a second-team all-America as a senior. He is second all-time in receptions (168), tied for second in receiving touchdowns (19) and fourth in career yardage (1,927).

Running Backs

·Ralph Alexander, 1932-36: An excellent all-around player, Alexander played halfback, quarterback, linebacker and kicker. He was named first-team all-MIAA in '35 and '36.

·Jarrett Anderson, 1993-96: Anderson's illustrious career saw him break most of the Bulldog's individual rushing and scoring records, while also setting MIAA and NCAA Division II records at the time. He won the Harlon Hill trophy in 1996, annually given to the NCAA Division II Player of the Year. Anderson was MIAA offensive player of the year in '95 and '96. His number will be retired this year at Homecoming.

·Ralph Cavanah, 1933-37: Cavanah received first-team all-MIAA and second team all-state honors in '35 and '36. He led the conference in scoring as a junior and was co-captain in '36.

·Charles Draper, 1920-23: Draper's influence was immense and he was named captain of the '22 and '23 squads. His performances earned him first-team all-state honors in '21 and '22.

·Lenvil Elliott, 1969-72: Elliott started as a freshman and was first-team all-MIAA his senior year. He was drafted by the the Cincinnati Bengals in '73 and played for the San Francisco Forty-Niners in the '82 Super Bowl campaign.

·Andre Gillespie, 1982-85: Gillespie earned first-team all-MIAA and all-America honors in '85. He topped the team in rushing (1,201 yards) and scoring (78 points) that year, while helping the team to a conference title.

·Chad Guthrie, 1989-92: Guthrie is third all-time in rushing (3,967) yards and was first-team all-MIAA and first-team all-America in 1991. He posted two of the top five best rushing seasons ever at the University.

·Dale "Paley" Mills, 1957-60: Mills at one time held 10 college division records and is the school's only two-time first-team all-America. Until Jarrett Anderson, Mills held nine Bulldog rushing records and still has a share of one for most single-game rushing yards with 306. He ranks ninth in career points and sixth in career points per game in NCAA Division II. Mills' No. 31 was the first of just two jerseys to be retired at Truman.

·Leo Petree, 1914-16: Truman won its first MIAA championship with Petree playing fullback and kicker. He was team captain in 1915 and 1916. Petree was also named to the all-Missouri team during those years.

·Steve Powell, 1974-77: Powell is fourth on the Bulldogs' career rushing list (3,643 yards). He also owns the three longest rushes for touchdowns in Bulldog history (92, 92, and 90 yards). Powell was a two-time, unanimous first-team all-MIAA pick, as well as conference MVP in '77. He was an honorable mention all-America in '76 and first-team all-America in '77.

·Martin Rhode, 1931-35: Best known for his speed, Rhode attained first-team all-MIAA honors in '33 and '34. He also received honorable mention all-state recognition in '34.

·Mike Richardson, 1962-65: Richardson earned first-team all-MIAA honors as a runner his first two years, and as a defensive back in last two seasons. He was an honorable mention all-America in '62.

·James Streeter, 1924-28: Streeter was the first Bulldog ever to collect 12 letters. Four of those letters came from his football career, which earned him first-team all-MIAA recognition three times.

·Sharron Washington, 1962-65: Washington won first-team all-MIAA recognition twice and was an honorable mention all-America one year. He led the MIAA in scoring in '65 and '66. Washington was a catalyst for the Bulldogs' '64 and '65 league championship teams and was later drafted by the NFL's Houston Oilers.

 

Wide Recivers:

·Mike Berentes, 1967-70: Berentes was first-team all-MIAA in 1970 as well as an honorable mention all-America. He is 10th in receptions (92), sixth in yardage (1,658) and fifth in TDs (15) among Bulldog career leaders.

·John Busby, 1982-85: Busby's 56 catches and eight touchdowns in '84 earned him first-team all-MIAA honors. He is still fourth in receptions (119) and seventh in yardage (1,572) among Bulldog career leaders. Busby owns the school record for catches in a game (16).

·Russell Evans, 1983-86: Evans is No. 2 in career receiving yards (2,387) and third in career receptions (154). He was first-team all-MIAA and second-team all-America in '86. Evans played for the Seattle Seahawks in 1987. Evans is the 'Dogs' single-season record-holder for receiving yards (1,167).

·Thomas Geredine, 1969-72: Geredine received first-team all-MIAA acclaim two seasons, and was MIAA MVP in '71, as well as an honorable mention all-America in '71 and '72. He was selected in the fourth round of the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons where he played for two seasons. He also played for the Los Angeles Rams in 1976.

·Lloyd Henry, 1975-77: Henry led the team in receiving three seasons while setting the Bulldog record for most career receiving touchdowns (22). He earned first-team all-MIAA honors and honorable mention all-America status twice. Henry played for the Miami Dolphins in 1977-78, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League in 1979.

·Eric Holm, 1978-80: Holm was first-team all-MIAA as well as second-team all-America as a senior. He caught eight touchdown passes that year and also had a punt return for a touchdown as a valuable special teams player. Holm is also named to this list as a coach.

·Richard Otte, 1980-83: Otte still owns records for career receiving yards (2,821) and catches (202). He ranks 29th on the Division II career pass receptions list, and was first-team all-MIAA in '81, '82, '83.

 

Defensive Backs:

·Gary Evans, 1972-75: Evans still holds Bulldog records for most interceptions in a game (5), season (11) and career (15). In '75, he earned first-team all-MIAA honors and second-team all-America status. His five picks in a game still ties the NCAA DII record.

·Tommy Hernandez, 1995-98: Hernandez earned first-team all-MIAA honors twice, honorable mention all-America status in '97, and was a second-team all-America in '98. He tied for the team lead in interceptions and led the team in blocked passes those years.

·Robert Merriman, 1989-92: Merriman was a first-team all-league and second-team all-America in 1992. He led the team in interceptions his final season.

·Jerry Meyer, 1965-69: A two sport athlete, Meyer was named to the all-MIAA first team twice. He was a captain as a senior.

·Clifton "Dickie" Ray, 1962-65: Ray led the Bulldogs in interceptions for three years while also playing offensive wingback and weakside end. He was named first-team all-MIAA in '65.

·Freddie Thompson, 1980-83: Thompson led the team with four interceptions during his freshman season and earned first-team all-MIAA honors in '81. He helped the team win back to back conference titles.

·Jon Walton, 1978-81: Walton led the team with five interceptions in '81, as well as solo tackles and blocked passes. He was selected first-team all-MIAA that year.

 

Linebackers

·Levi Craig, 1924-28: Craig earned first-team all-conference honors in 1926 and 1927. He was a charter member of the University's athletics Hall of Fame.

·Aubrey Johnson, 1967-70: Johnson earned a spot on the Associated Press Little All-America team in '70 and earned first-team all-MIAA honors in '69 and '70.

·Doug Kreighbaum, 1976-79: Kreighbaum garnered first-team all-MIAA honors during his last two seasons. His senior campaign saw him earn honorable mention all-America recognition.

·Craig O'Sadnick, 1970-73: O'Sadnick played in the first game of his freshman year, starting and played in every game after that. The single-season record-holder for tackles (169), he was a three-time first-team all-MIAA and honorable mention all-America. O'Sadnick played for the World Football League in '74.

·Marti Rave, 1974-77: Rave earned first-team all-MIAA honors in '76 and '77. He currently owns the Bulldog career record for tackles (489), leading the team in stops for three consecutive seasons.

·Don Rowden, 1962-65: Rowden won first-team all-MIAA honors as a senior and was a member of two conference championship teams.

·Ricky Ruff, 1985-88: Ruff was the recipient of first-team all-MIAA recognition in 1988, the same year he was named an honorable mention all-America.

 

Defensive Lineman

·Kenneth Bebermeyer, 1967-70 -- Bebermeyer made the all-MIAA first team as a freshman and a total of three times. He was an honorable mention all-America in '70, after helping to lead the Bulldogs to two conference co-championships.

·Chris Cannon, 1987-90: Cannon was selected to the first all-MIAA team in 1988 and 1990. He led the team in sacks in 1989.

·Tim Gildehaus, 1980-82: Gildehaus led the Bulldogs with 11 sacks in '81, earning the first of his two consecutive appearances on the first all-MIAA squad. The Bulldogs won back-to-back conference championships in his final two seasons.

·Dave Grant, 1961-64: Grant received first-team all-conference honors all four seasons. He was a first-team all-America in '62, and received honorable mention all-America honors in his three other seasons. Grant was also a standout on the offensive line.

·Pete Grathwohl, 1975-78: Grathwohl was named first-team all-MIAA three consecutive years. He led the team with seven sacks in '75. Grathwohl also had six fumble recoveries that year which is still good for a share of the Bulldog record.

·Ligo Letuli, 1979-82: Letuli anchored the interior of the defensive line, winning first-team all-MIAA honors and honorable mention all-America status in '81.

·Elijah Lockhart, 1979-82: Lockhart holds a share of the single season record for sacks with 12. He also led the team in fumble recoveries in '80 and '81. Lockhart won first-team all-MIAA honors in '81 and '82.

·Freddy Lyles, 1959-63: Lyles captured second-team all-MIAA honors twice. He was named outstanding lineman of the Mineral Water bowl game, won by the Bulldogs, over Parsons (Iowa) College in '61.

·Mike Roos, 1990-93: Roos led the team in sacks his last three years and in tackles his final two years. Roos' play in '93 earned him first-team all-MIAA honors as well as first-team all-America recognition.

·Bill Seman, 1962-66: Seman made the first all-MIAA team as a senior. He was drafted by the New York Giants in '67, but played in the Canadian Football League.

·Mark Sobol, 1975-78: Sobol garnered all-MIAA honors three times, and honorable mention all-America recognition in '78. Sobol led the team in fumble recoveries, pass deflections and sacks in 1976.

·John Suell, 1966-69: Suell earned first-team all-MIAA honors in '68 and '69. As a co-captain his senior year, he helped lead the 'Dogs to a conference title.

·Frank Wagner, 1966-70: Wagner earned first-team all-MIAA honors twice including a unanimous selection in '69. He received honorable mention all-America recognition in 1968.

·Dave Waterkotte, 1971-73: Waterkotte earned first-team all-MIAA honors in '71 and '73. The '71 team finished the season with nine victories and the conference championship.

Special Teams:

·Charles Blakley, 1967-70: A returner all four years, Blakley also played wide receiver and could be seen in the backfield on occasion. He earned first-team all-MIAA honors his senior season, and led the team in punt returns four years, and in kickoff returns once. The Blakley legacy continues as his son, Andrew, is currently an all-MIAA wide receiver for the Bulldogs.

·Larry Jones, 1971-74: Jones was an all-conference performer in '74 and ranked among Division II leaders in kickoff returns. His speed caught the eye of professional scouts and led to him being drafted in the 15th round. He played three seasons with the Washington Redskins and one with the San Francisco 49ers.

·Mike Laususe, 1974-78: A versatile athlete, Laususe played three different positions for the Bulldogs. He was named first-team all-MIAA in '76 and ranked sixth among NCAA Division II kick returners that year.

Punters/Place Kickers:

·Dave Austinson, 1981-82: Austinson led the Bulldogs in scoring in '81. He is one of four 'Dogs to ever kick a field goal 50 yards or more. Austinson made the all-MIAA first-team in '82 and holds the DII mark for career points per game scored by kicking (8.3).

·Dave Bormann, 1981-82: In 1982, Bormann finished eighth in punting in Division II. His efforts earned him first-team all-MIAA honors that year.

·Scott Bresaw, 1988-91: Bresaw was a fist-team all-MIAA kicker in 1990. He holds the school record for field goals in a season (14).

·K.C. Conaway, 1989-92: Conaway was a first-team all-MIAA punter in 1992, and is one of two Bulldogs to ever earn first-team academic all-America status.

·Kent Fensom, 1974-77: Fensom handled the Bulldogs' punting and place kicking duties for three seasons. He led the Bulldogs in scoring in '75 and holds a share of the record for longest field goal kicked at 52 yards.

·Bob Fletcher, 1978-79: Fletcher earned first-team all-MIAA honors in his senior season by leading Division II in punting. He still holds Bulldog records for number of punts in a season (79) and average yards per punt (43.2). He also holds a share of the record for longest field goal kicked at 52 yards.

·Jeff Klee, 1996-99: Klee earned first-team all-MIAA and honorable mention all-America honors in '99. He was the team's scoring leader in '98 and '99. Klee kicked four of the seven longest field goals in school history, including tying the record of 52 yards twice.

·Mike Miletich, 1986-89: Miletich was an all-conference punter for the 'Dogs, booting the longest punt in school history at 88 yards.

Coaches:

·Don Faurot, 1926-34: Faurot led the Bulldogs through nine highly successful seasons compiling a record of 63-13-3 while winning seven MIAA conference championships. The team's record during his tenure remains the highest winning percentage (.816) of any Bulldog coach. He led the school to the 12th longest winning streak in NCAA history at 27 games.

·Eric Holm, 1990-94: Holm guided the Bulldogs to three appearances in the Division II playoffs during his five-year tenure. The team's appearance in '90 was its first since 1982. His teams finished in the top 10 of the final Division II poll twice.

·H.L. "Curly" McWilliams, 1914-25: McWilliams directed the Bulldogs to a record of 48-26-8. His 12-year coaching stint is the second longest in Bulldog history. McWilliams guided the team to its first-ever conference championship and first state title. He also quarterbacked some of the first teams to ever take the field at Truman in '05 and '06.

·Maurice "Red" Wade, 1951-1966: Wade racked up a record of 99-41-2 during his 16 years as head coach, the longest tenure and most wins in Bulldog history. His teams were MIAA champions eight times, and his 1961 team won the Mineral Water Bowl, the first time a Bulldog team played in a postseason game.


 

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