Northwestern University

1968 - 74 Wildcats
(Authentic Reproduction)



Soph HB Mike Adamle, the son of former Cleveland Brown player Tony Adamle, had led the '67 frosh team in rushing and stepped in immediately as the Northwestern return man. Other than a win over hapless Wisconsin, the team was shellacked, with the defensive secondary taking a beating in most games. The Wildcats may have looked resplendent in their new purple headgear with a distinctive white "NU" logo on each side, but their 1-9 record certainly was lackluster. In '69 the linebackers, led by Dan Ross, pulled the defense together and RB Adamle blossomed, setting what was then a Big Ten, and what remains a Northwestern record by rushing for a huge 316 yards against Wisconsin. His All Conference status and 4.8 per-rush average enhanced the QB work of Maurice Daigneau and the 3-7 mark included three conference wins. Playing less than half the games, Daigneau threw for 1276 yards and Barry Pearson was a capable receiver until injured. Jack Rudnay led up front and then played center for the Chiefs for thirteen years. Dropping
their first three games of the season to non-conference opponents Notre Dame, UCLA, and SMU, made '70 appear to be another typical poor Northwestern year but the 'Cats pulled themselves together to destroy Illinois 48-0. This win sparked a run that resulted in a 6-1 conference mark and 6-4 overall record. Their only Big Ten loss was to powerful, undefeated Ohio State. The second place Big Ten finish and All American play of RB and kick returner Adamle, also the Big Ten MVP, won Coach Alex Agase the National Coach Of The Year Award. Adamle would spend two years each with the Chiefs, Jets, and Bears in a six year NFL career before going into broadcasting.    
 In 1971's eleven game season, the Wildcats surprised with a 7-4 record. All Big Ten QB Maurice Daigneau used conference leading receiver Barry Pearson effectively and HB Al Robinson made up for the loss of Adamle. Pearson would play for the Steelers and Chiefs. The defense came up big with excellent play from Jim Anderson and soph LB Mike Varty. Two big wins against Ohio State and Michigan State in the season's final two games sealed a fine season and no one could have predicted it would be the Wildcats last winning season until 1995. 1972 would be Agase's final season and it was a drab 2-9 affair with little effective offense despite a few stars, and spotty defense. Held scoreless against Michigan, Notre Dame, and Purdue, it was obvious that the loss of fifteen starters from '71 could not be overcome. RB Greg Boykin rushed for over 600 yards as a frosh and HB Jim Trimble, the son of the well-known pro coach, added 339 until limited by injury. WR Jim Lash was a legitimate weapon, combining with QB Mitch Anderson who led the Big Ten in passing with 1333 yards, 351 of those against Michigan State. The defense got worse when LB Varty went out with a knee injury in the second game of the year. When the season ended, Head Coach Alex Agase took the opportunity to return to Purdue, one of the two schools he had served as an All American player in the 1940's, as their new head football coach.   
The '73 season was marked by the installation of artificial turf, and the naming of Indiana's coach, John Pont as the new football coach and Athletic Director. Pont's debut record of 4-7 was a welcomed surprise although it included dreadful losses to Notre Dame and Ohio State and a number of additional defensive breakdowns. RB's Rich Boothe and Stan Key, and WR Steve Craig paced the offense under the leadership of QB Mitch Anderson who again led the Big Ten in passing with 2557 yards and nineteen TD's. RB Greg Boykin was off of his '72 performance. Mike Varty's return from injury and play at LB earned him a spot with the Redskins in '74 and Colts in '75. QB  Anderson finished his NU career in '74 with less efficiency than his first two seasons. RB Boykin went down with a fractured leg and Jim Pooler stepped in to lead all rushers with a great 949 yards. Scott Yelvington paced the conference with thirty-seven receptions from his TE position. With Notre Dame, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Wisconsin all scoring forty-nine points or more, the defense obviously needed improvement although safety Pete Shaw played well. The 3-8 record included Parseghian's final game vs. the Wildcats and the old coach proved that at 4-0 against ND as coach of the 'Cats, and 9-0 against Northwestern as coach of the Irish, this series of games belonged to no one but him.

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