1958 Sun Devils
(Authentic Reproduction)




Frank Kush was as hard as they come. One of fifteen children and the son of a Pennsylvania coal miner who passed away when he was only fourteen, Kush battled his way to Michigan State and then battled his way to a first team All American berth and starred in the Rose Bowl. Coming to Devine's Arizona State staff directly from the military service, he was a stickler for conditioning and mental toughness. Like Devine, he was also a stickler for detail and the helmet was upgraded, with the sunflower gold shell with maroon one-inch center stripe now featuring maroon three-inch “Alabama 1965 style” numbers on both sides. Those who had an interest in such things noted that those players wearing a number containing the numeral “1” did not have a bottom base to the numeral. With future Oklahoma, New England Patriots, and Colorado coach Chuck Fairbanks as an assistant, Kush doubled the preparation effort of the Sun Devils. They got off to a slow start, losing three of their first five games including a revenge thrashing from future Ram Dick Bass, the nation’s best back, and his College Of Pacific Tigers and Kush deemed the complacent seniors as the cause. On a layover in Kansas City during their flight to Michigan to play a good University Of Detroit team, Kush had the entire squad deplane so that they could have a full-scale practice on a field adjacent to the airport. He then benched the seniors for the first half of the game and the effect was immediate. The chastised team defeated Detroit and the remainder of their schedule to finish an upbeat 7-3 with a 47-0 whomping of Arizona. The new Sun Devils Stadium became "the Saturday night place to be" with the exploding attendance figures proving that ASU games had become a true Fall social event. Halfback Bobby Mulgado was the team’s star and had his number retired after the end of the season. He was drafted in the fifth-round by the Eagles but opted to play for Saskatchewan and Hamilton in the CFL for three years before being drafted into military service. Mulgado returned to his hometown of McKeesport, PA and served in law enforcement, eventually becoming an outstanding detective. He remained involved with football by playing running back for the Pittsburgh Valley Ironmen of the Atlantic Coast Football League from 1963 through ’65. Ken Kerr was named All Border Conference at guard as was center Dave Fonner. The season was a true success as the Arizona State College finally was renamed Arizona State University by voter referendum despite the efforts to defeat the amendment by Arizona backers in the legislature.

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