Michigan State

1969 Spartans
"100" Year Anniversary

(Authentic Reproduction)


Paying tribute to the one hundredth year of college football, Michigan State used the basic helmet design that had become their standard, Kelly green headgear trimmed with a one-inch white center stripe and two-inch white rear numerals but they had removed the small Spartan head logo and replaced it with a white "100 year" logo on each side of the helmet. Coach Daugherty unveiled the new synthetic Tartan Turf field and also introduced his version of the Triple Option Offense but it didn't go well, ending with a 4-6 record. QB Bill Triplett, a brilliant runner in '68, did poorly, asked to move to flanker, but was forced back to the QB spot when injuries wiped out his reserves. Speedy HB Don Highsmith was a reliable runner and was drafted by the Raiders, finally finding steady employment for the two year run of the WFL with the New York/Charlotte teams. Soph Eric "The Flea" Allen was an exciting runner and return man while the Saul twins exhausted their eligibility, Ron named as an All American guard and going on to a fine career in the pros, first with Houston from 1970-'75 and then with the Redskins from '76 through 1981. Brother Rich played well for the Rams at a number of interior line positions from 1970-'81. DT Ron Curl earned All Conference honors.

The 1970 season produced another 4-6 mark with return man "Flea" Allen the most exciting thing on the field. He contributed 811 rushing yards from his tailback spot. Sophomores Brad Van Pelt who had been tried at QB and tailback began his varsity career as a 6'5" DB who intercepted six passes. Guard Joe DeLamielleure was the real deal. Returning from a back injury, end Billy Joe DuPree showed great athletic ability. The Spartans broke into the win column with a 6-5 finish for '71 with Allen setting fifteen rushing records and earning All American recognition. Rushing for a new NCAA record 350 yards and totaling 397 for the day against Purdue gave him the national recognition. Switched to tackle, Joe DeLamielleure was named as All Big Ten and TE DuPree pulled in twenty-five receptions. Ron Curl finished his career at DT as an All American. 1972 would be Duffy's final season but it was disappointing at 5-5-1. The eight-fumble 6-6 tie against lowly Iowa may have pushed Daugherty towards his final decision, especially with a lot of alumni dissatisfaction with his program in recent seasons. For a very mediocre team, there were a great number of individual awards with DB Bill Simpson, the Big Ten's leading punt return man and LB Gail Clark named to the All Conference team and three All Americans also earning All Big Ten honors. Van Pelt, DeLamielleure, and DuPree were the three and all went on to stellar pro careers, DuPree as a Cowboys TE from '73 to '83, DeLamielleure as a Pro Football Hall Of Fame guard for the Bills and Browns from 1973 through '85 and Brad Van Pelt playing from '73 through 1986, primarily as an All Pro Giants linebacker. Duffy's legacy would include two outright Big Ten titles and four second-place finishes, seven national top ten rankings, a National Championship and two teams placed at number two. His thirty-three first-team All Americans and fifty-one first-team All Big Ten players may pale in comparison to the many members of his coaching staffs that he mentored and went on to very successful collegiate and pro coaching assignments. He most deservedly is a member of The College Football Hall Of Fame.


A product of St. Clement High School in Center Line, Michigan Joe DeLamielleure stepped in as an immediate starter his sophomore year at MSU. Playing guard and tackle, he was a two-time All Big Ten and two-time All America selection. As a star on mediocre college teams, he was often selected as a point of attack for opposing defenders, a tactic that never worked. All American Spartan back Eric "The Flea" Allen gained most of his yardage behind Joe D. as the steadiest of the Michigan State offensive linemen. As the Buffalo Bills first-round choice in 1973, DeLamielleure's Rookie Of The Year season and Pro Football Hall Of Fame career was almost scuttled as he failed his first NFL physicals with an irregular heartbeat. In a career that stretched from 1973 through 1985, he was a first or second team All Pro eight times, seven-time All AFC, and played in six Pro Bowls. He was the bell cow of "The Electric Company", the offensive line that blocked for Hall Of Fame runner O.J. Simpson, and was named Offensive Lineman Of The Year in 1975. As a starter in his very first NFL game, Joe D. played in 185 straight games. Named to the NFL's All Decade Team for the 1970's DeLamielleure played his final season in Buffalo after spending five years with the Browns.   


A throwback to an earlier era, Brad Van Pelt left Owosso, Michigan High School as a multi-sport athlete and continued as one at Michigan State in an era of athletic specialization. A nine-letter winner as an accomplished member of the football, basketball, and baseball teams at State, Van Pelt was at his best on the football field. With the ability to play any position, he spent his frosh year and the spring prior to his varsity debut at a number of positions including quarterback and running back. The 6'5" Van Pelt settled in at safety and was an immediate star, earning All Big Ten and All American honors in his junior and senior seasons. He was the recipient of the Maxwell Trophy, as the nation's best player in 1972, the very first time a back had won the award. This was followed by the Chevrolet Defensive Player Of The Year and Columbus Touchdown Club Defensive Player Of The Year awards, in part the result of his fourteen career interceptions. A five-time All Pro, Van Pelt was the leader of a New York Giants defense that was dependent upon him to literally "do it all." After eleven years with New York, Van Pelt completed his pro career with the Raiders and Browns, playing a total of fourteen seasons. His son was a highly regarded quarterback at Colorado State University.

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