New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Tag Archives: Columbia football

Ventan Yablonski

Ventan Yablonski (College football.  Born, Worcester, MA, Mar. 4, 1923; died, Naperville, IL, March 1, 2008.)  A sophomore quarterback at Fordham in 1942, Ventan Constantine Yablonski became a star halfback and placekicker at Columbia after World War II.  Yablonski, a stocky 5’8”, 190 pounds, gained 637 yards rushing in two seasons (149 carries, 4.3 average) […]

John Witkowski

John Witkowski (College football.  Born, Flushing, Queens, June 18, 1962.)  As ringmaster of an aerial circus at Columbia for three years (1981-83), John Joseph Witkowski passed for 7,849 yards with 613 completions and 56 touchdowns in 30 games.  With a 1-9 team in 1982, Witkowski was chosen Ivy League Player of the Year.  Despite his […]

Harold Weekes

Harold Weekes (College football.  Born, Oyster Bay, NY, Apr. 2, 1880; died, New York, NY, July 25, 1950.)  A 145-pound lightning bolt from Morristown (N.J.) School, Harold Weekes hit the college football scene like a shot in 1899 when Columbia resumed intercollegiate competition after an eight-year absence.  One of the major upsets of that season […]

Russ Warren

Russ Warren (Football.  Born, Burlington, VT, June 18, 1939.)  Clearly a man not easily discouraged, Dr. Russell F. Warren did not make the cut with the Football Giants in 1962 but returned 22 years later as the team physician.  Warren was a standout halfback on the Columbia team that shared the Ivy League championship in […]

Walter Koppisch

Walter Koppisch (College football. Born, Pennington, NY, June 6, 1901; died, New York, NY, Nov. 5, 1953.) Ranked among the major names in New York sports in the 1920s, Walter Frederick Koppisch is the only three-time captain in Columbia football history. Koppisch first came to notice in 1921 as a freshman, scoring six touchdowns for […]

Lou Kusserow

Lou Kusserow (Football. Born, Braddock, PA, Sept. 6, 1927; died, LaQuinta, CA, June 30, 2001.) A star running back with Lou Little’s strong post-war teams, Louis Joseph Kusserow is the Columbia leader in points scored for a career and held the single season record for over a half-century. Despite missing the final four games of the […]

Sid Luckman

Sid Luckman (College football. Born, Brooklyn, NY, Nov. 21, 1916; died, Chicago, IL, July 5, 1998.) Sid Luckman was a most unusual football star. He was a great high school player at Brooklyn’s Erasmus Hall, but opted not to attend any of the high-powered colleges that tried to recruit him. Instead, Luckman decided he wanted […]

Lou Little

Lou Little (College football. Born, Leominster, MA, Dec. 6, 1893; died, Delray Beach, FL, May 28, 1979.) Louis Lawrence Little stamped his name indelibly on some of the brightest moments in the history of New York college football during his 27-year tenure as head coach at Columbia. After playing a season at Vermont, Little transferred […]

Cliff Montgomery

Cliff Montgomery (College football. Born, Natrona Heights, PA, Sept. 17, 1910; died, Mineola, NY, Apr. 21, 2005.) Captain and star quarterback for the last Ivy League team to win a major Bowl, Clifford Earl Montgomery led Columbia to a 7-0 victory over Stanford in the 1934 Rose Bowl. In the second quarter of the game, […]

Bob Naso

Bob Naso (College football, lacrosse.  Born, Garden City Park, NY, Sept. 11, 1937.)  A successful lacrosse coach at Rutgers, Robert J. Naso was much less successful with Columbia football.  Naso became Columbia’s 13th head coach Dec. 18, 1979, but his five seasons (1980-84) produced a dismal 4-43-2 record.  His teams never won more than one […]

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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