Saturday, June 14, 2008

Game of the Day: (Day 99)

Turbo Tax is a lot easier to use than the 4-3 Defense (CREDIT: Columbia College Today)

Today, Bill Campbell is known as the founder of Intuit and the chairman of Columbia's board of trustees. A generation or two ago he was also captain of Columbia's last Ivy championship team in 1961.

But between his life as a corporate success and player, he labored as Columbia's head football coach for six seasons from 1974-79. These were frustrating years for the Lions, as they never seemed to be able to build any momentum despite the players' enthusiasm for their coach. Non-athletes loved Campbell too, as he was always a visible presence on campus.

The brightest days of Campbell's coaching career came in the early weeks of 1976 and 1977. The Lions started both of those seasons at 2-1 before hitting long losing streaks.

In '76 the big win was at Franklin Field in week three. Penn was a few years away from its resurgence, but the Quakers were looking for revenge after falling to Columbia 28-25 at Baker Field the year before.

Things didn't look good at the start as the Lions committed two costly turnovers and trailed 10-0 at the half. Worse yet, Columbia's starting running back Bruce Stephens was stricken with an early head injury and was out for the rest of the game.

But then backup tailbacks Paul McCormick and Jay Hickey took over. McCormick did the hard work, gaining 101 yards on 25 carries. But Hickey got the glory scoring two TD's, one on a 37-yard run and the other on a 14-yard gainer, to give the Lions the 14-10 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

From that point on, the defense took over. Fresh off leading the baseball team in the late spring to an Ivy title, captain and defensive back Ed Backus kept the Quakers in check and preserved the second half shut out for the 14-10 victory.

The happy Columbia lockeroom after the game was filled with heroes. But the players decided to give the game ball to Coach Campbell.

Columbia would not win another game at Franklin Field for 20 years.


At Sat Jun 14, 05:56:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can thank Rutgers for ruining the season. We played them in Giants stadium in '77. They had decided to go big time and just ran up the score on us. As a result Columbia and Princeton both dropped Rutgers from their schedules.


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