Midshipmen 1963 Heisman - Roger Staubach
(Authentic Reproduction)





Roger Thomas Staubach was a great high school athlete but did not get to quarterback his Cincinnati Purcell High School football team until his senior season. A fine baseball and basketball player he was All City in both basketball and football and had an outstanding game following his senior year in the Ohio North-South All Star Football Game. With scholarship offers to almost all of the Big Ten schools, Staubach gave consideration to Notre Dame having once considered the priesthood but settled on the Naval Academy. The 6'2", 192-pound athlete was recruited well by Assistant Coach Rick Forzano who convinced him to attend the Academy and first elevate his math grades at New Mexico Military Academy where former Baltimore Colts assistant coach Bob Shaw was the head man. Having worked closely with the great John Unitas, Shaw nurtured Staubach's talents and he became a Junior College All American. Once again recruited hard, he rebuffed Notre Dame's offer but signed a letter-of-intent with Purdue. Changing his mind prior to the start of fall camp and classes, Staubach entered the Naval Academy and immediately made his mark in football, basketball, and baseball, (batting .401 his soph season). Again receiving excellent coaching on the Plebe football team from former Naval great QB George Welsh, Staubach was considered to be "the best quarterback the Navy varsity faced in 1961."  Becoming the starter in the fourth game of his sophomore season against Cornell, he embarked on a career that landed him in both the College and Pro Football Halls Of Fame. He was the most exciting player on the field throughout his Navy career and it wasn't just the outstanding numbers that included totals of more than 3500 passing yards and a completion percentage of 63.1 percent that made "Roger The Dodger" the darling of his teammates as well as the media. Staubach could seemingly scramble out of any dire on-field predicament and had an air of confidence that was contagious, one that allowed him to literally will his team to play at its best. With Staubach on the field, the game was never over and the final score never determined until the whistle blew to end the game. His junior season of 1963 was his best and resulted in his winning the coveted Heisman and Maxwell Trophies. He took the Naval Academy to the brink of the National Championship and was the most popular midshipman on campus, one who was outstanding in baseball, basketball, and in every aspect of Middie life.


Almost too good to be true, Staubach entered active duty upon his Academy graduation and served in Viet Nam before returning to the NFL as a twenty-seven year old rookie quarterback. Drafted as a future after his junior year by both the NFL Dallas Cowboys and AFL Dallas Texans, he chose the Cowboys and followed a script that was very familiar relative to his collegiate career. He did not win the starting position immediately. It took nearly three years but once serving as the Cowboys' regular quarterback as of 1971, he led with his tremendous sense of confidence, and in nine seasons at the helm, took the Cowboys to six NFC Championship games and two Super Bowl victories. With 1685 completions for 22, 700 yards and 153 TD's and scrambling yardage that added another 2264 net yards to his offensive output, Staubach was a shoo-in to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. With the same touch of class and skill that marked everything he did, life after football brought tremendous business success and Roger Staubach remains one of the most highly respected figures to ever play the game of football. 


Bill Elias, who had done a solid rebuilding job at Virginia was tapped as the new head coach for Navy’s 1965 season. In part, he was chosen due to his reputation as a top recruiter because it was becoming difficult to get highly rated players into the Academy. From the very end of Hardin's reign and throughout the early-seventies, the unpopular conflict in Vietnam combined with courses of study that emphasized more technologically difficult areas of study limited the talent pool for the Academy. Coincidental to this the always-stringent admission and academic requirements of all of the service academies were suddenly juxtaposed with those of many football powers that chose this time period to lower their standards. The confluence of circumstances conspired to derail Navy athletics, especially football. The traditional Navy plain gold helmet was used as Elias began his tenure. The 4-4-2 of Elias' inaugural campaign included a 7-7 tie versus Army, a good win against a slumping Oklahoma team, and close games with Syracuse and Penn State under the leadership of QB John Cartwright. Terry Murray was the primary weapon, leading the team in scoring and rushing yardage. The 1966 season was highlighted by the ten TD passes thrown by QB Cartwright, and the receptions of All East end Rob Taylor as these two established themselves as a potent pass-catch combination. Taylor broke Navy records, hauling in fifty-five balls for 727-yards. HB Terry Murray again was the leading rusher and scorer running behind 6'6" center Harry "Skip" Dittmann who held the O-line while All East DE Bill Dow and soph LB Ray DeCarlo headed the defense that wasn't as stout as the '65 version.


Improvement to 5-4-1 in '67 included a 19-14 win over Army as QB Cartwright and end  Taylor again established Navy marks. Cartwright finished as the Academy's all-time pass yardage leader with 3626 and threw for nine TD's. HB Taylor picked up a record 818 receiving yards on sixty-one receptions and finished his career with 1736. Terry Murray and Dan Pike kept the opponents' defenses honest with Murray also a dangerous return man. Unfortunately Navy's defense gave up an average of three touchdowns per game despite good play from middle guard Ray DeCarlo. 1968's 2-8 record could easily be explained by the defensive yield of 303 points with a porous secondary. QB Mike McNallen ably filled the shoes of departed John Cartwright with 124 completions for 1342 yards but he also threw 19 interceptions. FB Dan Pike was the primary rusher with 500 yards. At the end of the season, Elias and the Academy parted ways with the coach taking on a position with the Boston Patriots.

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