1974 - 75 Orangemen
(Authentic Reproduction)




Although lightly regarded in football and tucked away in the upper reaches of northwestern New York State, Syracuse did manage to post a number of excellent football seasons in the 1920’s. The institution enhanced their reputation with the likes of Hugh “Duffy” Daugherty, team captain in 1939 who went on to an illustrious College Football Hall Of Fame coaching career at Michigan State and it should be noted that the immortal Bud Wilkinson began his coaching career as a Syracuse assistant in 1941. Unfortunately, not too deep into the 1940’s football was almost an afterthought at Syracuse University. The sport was dropped in 1943 due to a manpower shortage during WW II and played poorly by few participants as the team was reassembled when the War ended. Assistant coach Clarence "Biggie" Munn was elevated to head coach prior to the 1946 season and posted a 4-5 mark but quickly moved on to the greener pastures of Michigan State where he achieved great success and became a College Football Hall Of Famer for his outstanding record and penchant for developing All American players. Former star Orangeman of the 1920’s Reaves "Ribs" Baysinger took over. He had little more to work with than back Walter “Silvers” Slovenski who made two interceptions against Temple and ran them back for a school record total of 108 yards in a 1946 game. Baysinger dressed his men in navy blue Riddell RT plastic helmets and slogged through a difficult 3-6 1947 and a disastrous 1-8 in '48. With the only victory coming against minor-league Niagara, the conclusion was made that a more successful program would uplift the school's current "small time" image. The hunt was on for a "name" coach but the man hired was "name" only in the difficulty in both the spelling and pronunciation of his surname. Floyd Burdette "Ben" Schwartzwalder, the coach at Muhlenberg College and a former hard-nosed center at West Virginia who was their most feared player at a small 152 pounds and one of the best wrestlers in WVU history was tapped to move Syracuse up the ladder of national recognition. Resurrecting a program on the verge of extinction would be difficult but Syracuse had stumbled upon the man who could and would do it.

If interested in any of these Syracuse helmets please click on the photos below.