100 Year Anniversary 1969
(Authentic Reproduction)


Former Navy assistant Rick Forzano was called back to campus to try to revive football fortunes. He had been an Ohio high school coach, assistant at Wooster College and Kent State, and then Navy's assistant coach who had recruited Roger Staubach from Purcell High School in Cincinnati. Forzano spent two years as the head coach at UConn before heading to the pros, first as the Cardinals backfield coach and then with the Bengals. He took the head job at the Naval Academy perhaps not realizing just how difficult it would be to recruit suitable athletic talent. Paul Brown, his head coach with the Bengals had advised him to avoid the "no-win" situation but Forzano felt he could turn things around. He was a top recruiter, having brought in Roger "The Dodger" as well as Pat Donnelly among others, and sought to recreate the same type of teams. Forzano described his first team as "small but we make up for a lack of size by being slow" and unfortunately, the humorous remark held truth. QB Mike McNallen was the exception, a fine athlete who threw for 1312 yards. Co-captain Dan Pike was the featured runner behind a small line. The only victory in a 1-9 season was a 10-0 tussle against Virginia that featured a number of goal line stops. DE Tom O'Brien stood out on a poor defense. To mark the one-hundredth anniversary of college football, Forzano adorned the traditional gold helmet with the number "100" in three-inch dark navy blue numerals and placed it on each side of the helmet.

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