While researching part 2 of my series on Purdue football’s membership in the Indiana Football Hall of Fame, one trend stood out.
Some of the state’s finest high school, college and professional football coaches had Boilermaker ties. A few, like Gordon Straley of West Lafayette, Pat McCaffrey of Lafayette Jeff and Bob Springer of Indianapolis Washington owe their Hall of Fame election to success on Friday nights.
One former Boilermaker football player won a national championship coaching men’s golf!
Let’s pick up the countdown with a man who most fans connect with Purdue basketball.
Guy “Red” Mackey – Purdue’s basketball arena was renamed in Mackey’s memory following his death in 1971. But his background was in football, and his 29 years in the athletic director’s chair came after earning three letters as a Boilermaker end from 1926-28 and then serving as an assistant coach from 1931 to 1942.
Kenneth “Pat” McCaffrey – A two-year letterwinner for Purdue football, McCaffrey was best known for his 15 seasons at Lafayette Jeff. He led the Bronchos to a 10-0 season in 1966 and was 131-76-2 for his career.
Jack Mollenkopf – There’s a reason why this intense, sometimes profane old line coach is in numerous Halls of Fame, including College Football (1988) and the first class of the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall (1994). Lured from coaching high school football in Ohio to Purdue by Stu Holcomb in 1947, Mollenkopf was chosen over another coaching legend, Hank Stram, to take over the Purdue program in 1956. What followed was the longest sustained success Boilermaker football has ever had. An 84-39-9 record that included a 10-4 mark against Notre Dame, 11-2-1 against Indiana and a Rose Bowl victory in 1967 against USC.
Doxie Moore – The Delphi native played on two Big Ten championship teams in football and two in basketball. Purdue’s backfield of Moore, Duane Purvis and Jim Carter was called by at least one sports writer in the 1930s as the best in the USA. Also a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
Kevin Motts – After helping Mishawaka Marian win state championships in 1973 and 1975, Motts became a four-year starting linebacker at Purdue and still holds the career tackles record with 520.
Paul Moss – An all-state end at Terre Haute Gerstmeyer, Moss’ pass-catching skills earned him a pair of All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honors in 1931 and 1932. As a member of the football Pittsburgh Pirates, Moss led the NFL in receiving as a rookie in 1933.
William “Pinky” Newell – Newell was a member of the undefeated 1943 Boilermaker squad but his greatest service to Purdue came as a distinguished athletic trainer for 28 years.
Elmer Oliphant – His unusual football career began as an all-state end at Linton-Stockton High School. Oliphant won seven letters in football, basketball, baseball and track at Purdue. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in 1912-13. His single-game scoring record of 43 points (5 TDs, 13 of 13 extra points against Rose-Poly in 1912) is likely to stand for another century. Earning an appointment to West Point, Oliphant was allowed to play football for three seasons at Army as well. He is credited with 435 points in his six varsity seasons. The Indiana Football honor is one of eight Halls of Fame to have enshrined Oliphant.
Kyle Orton – The only Purdue quarterback to start four consecutive bowl games, Orton threw for 8,918 yards and 61 touchdowns. During his senior season in 2004, Orton passed for 3,090 yards and 31 touchdowns. He was a fourth round draft pick by the Chicago Bears in 2005 and played 10 seasons in the NFL.
Curtis Painter – The Vincennes native succeeded Orton as Purdue’s starting quarterback in 2005. Painter broke Drew Brees’ single-season passing yards record with 3,985 in 2006. Painter threw for 11,163 yards and 67 touchdowns as a Boilermaker. Selected in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Colts, Painter spent four seasons in the NFL.
Robert “Stormy” Pfohl – The Goshen native was a starting running back as a freshman and sophomore before World War II interrupted his college career. Pfohl went on to play two seasons with the Baltimore Colts.
Mike Phipps – A high school All-American quarterback at Columbus High School, Phipps was more than up to the task of following in Bob Griese’s footsteps at Purdue. Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1969 and first quarterback to lead his team past Notre Dame three consecutive seasons. He set 24 records at Purdue and turned down a Rhodes Scholarship to play in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns.
Duane Purvis – The multi-talented running back was an All-American in 1933 and 1934. Voted the Big Ten’s Most Outstanding Athlete in 1933.
Pete Quinn – When he wasn’t getting his exercise or impersonating Elvis Presley, the Scecina graduate was key member of three bowl championship teams during the Jim Young era and was a two-time second-team All-Big Ten selection. His popularity was rewarded with a selection as the center on Purdue’s All-Time Football Team in 1987.
Dave Rankin – An All-American end in 1939 and 1940, the Warsaw native also starred in track and field, setting the U.S. indoor record in the 60-yard low hurdles at the 1940 Butler Relays.
Dale Rems – A two-year starter under Jack Mollenkopf before graduating in 1961, Rems was another successful high school coach. At Elkhart Central, Rems was head coach for 11 seasons and earned Region 2 Class 5A Coach of the Year honors in 1985.
Dale Samuels – First Purdue quarterback to surpass 1,000 passing yards in a season. Samuels helped end Notre Dame’s 39-game unbeaten streak in 1950. He was a co-captain of the 1952 Big Ten co-championship team.
Rick Sayers – An All-State quarterback at South Bend Adams, Sayers thrived as a wide receiver under head coach Bob DeMoss. Sayers was a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 1971 and led the Boilermakers in receiving in 1971 and 1972.
Chris Schenkel – A merit contributor, the Bippus, Ind., native was a sports television pioneer in the 1950s. Among his accomplishments were the first to cover the Masters golf tournament on TV in 1956, the first to do play by play on a college football game coast to coast on ABC and the first to serve as a live sports anchor from the Mexico City Games in 1968. Schenkel was the TV voice of the NFL’s New York Giants from 1965-73, ABC’s NCAA College Football Game of the Week and the Pro Bowlers Association Tour.
Tim Seneff – After helping Merrillville win a Class 3A state championship, Seneff became a three-year starting safety under Jim Young at Purdue (1979-81).
Jerry Shay – An All-American lineman for Gary Wallace High School, Shay earned All-Big Ten honors in 1964 and 1965. He was a first-round draft choice by the Minnesota Vikings in 1966 and spent seven seasons in the NFL.
Bob Springer – The first active high school coach inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame, Springer played three varsity seasons at Purdue. Springer helped create the original state tournament in 1973. In 36 seasons, most of which were at Indianapolis Washington, Springer went 227-98-8 with a Class 3A state championship in 1974.
Gordon Straley – Another Indiana high school coaching legend, Straley graduated in 1939 after playing two seasons at Purdue. After serving in World War II, he spent 32 years at West Lafayette High School. Straley went 187-91-15 and helped expand the school’s athletic program from four sports for boys to 16 co-ed sports by the time of his retirement as athletic director in 1980.
Hank Stram – Earned three letters in football and baseball at Purdue in a career interrupted by World War II service. As an assistant under Stu Holcomb, Stram helped mold Len Dawson into a star quarterback. The duo would later team up to win three AFL titles with the Dallas Texans and Kansas City Chiefs. Stram retired with a record of 131-97-10 and is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Harry Szulborski – The Detroit native held the Purdue career rushing record of 2,478 yards for 23 years. He led the nation in rushing in 1947 (851) and 1948 (989) while earning first-team All-Big Ten honors.
Joe Tiller – His “basketball on grass” offense revived a dormant Purdue program in 1997 and helped the Boilermakers reach 10 bowl games from 1997 to 2008. Tiller led Purdue to its second Rose Bowl appearance after sharing the Big Ten championship in 2000. He coached 53 players who went on to the NFL, including future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees.
Sam Voinoff – A starting guard during one of the greatest eras of Purdue football (1929-31), when the Boilermakers won two Big Ten titles. But golf is his legacy in West Lafayette, coaching four NCAA individual champions and the 1961 team champs. Voinoff’s teams also captured 10 Big Ten championships and three NCAA runner-up finishes during the 1950s.
Ray Wallace – A consensus high school All-American running back at Indianapolis North Central in 1981, Wallace became the first player in NCAA history to start at four different positions (safety, cornerback, running back and fullback) while at Purdue. Played with the Houston Oilers and Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL.
Ralph “Pest” Welch – The consensus All-American halfback starred on one of the best Purdue teams in history, the 1929 undefeated Big Ten champions. Welch earned his nickname in high school for his persistent efforts to join the wrestling team.
Rod Woodson – The Fort Wayne Snider graduate was Indiana’s 1982 Mr. Football and a USA Today/Parade All-American in 1981-82. Woodson is one of just a handful of Purdue greats to earn three first-team All-Big Ten honors. A consensus All-American in 1986, Woodson is also a member of the Purdue, College and Pro Halls of Fame.
Jim Young – Coached Purdue to consecutive victories in Peach, Bluebonnet and Liberty bowls (1978-80). His 1979 team remains the only 10-win squad in Boilermaker history. Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1978 and his 120-71-2 career record includes a 38-19-1 mark at Purdue.
Alex Yunevich – The Bicknell, Ind., native was a star fullback for the Boilermakers during three of Purdue’s best seasons from 1929-31. He went on to become the winningest football coach in Alfred University history with a 177-85-12 record.
– Kenny Thompson is the former sports editor for the Lafayette Journal & Cou¬rier and an award-winning journalist. He has covered Purdue athletics for many years.