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

Tag Archives: College 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 […]

Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson (College football.  Born, Staunton, VA., Dec. 28, 1856; died, Washington, DC, Feb. 3, 1924.)  While some sources suggest that Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the head coach of the Princeton football team in 1878, during his senior year there, this is a gross extension of the facts.  Wilson was knowledgeable about the game, which […]

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 […]

Arnold Tucker

Arnold Tucker (College football.  Born, Calhoun Falls, SC, Jan. 5, 1924.)  During the years 1944-46, there were few better playing assignments in college football than quarterbacking the West Point teams featuring Glenn Davis (q.v.) and Doc Blanchard (q.v.) as the running backs.  As it happened, that assignment fell to young Arnold Tucker.  Over the course […]

Ray Tellier

Ray Tellier (College football.  Born, West Haven, CT, June 10, 1951.)  A star quarterback at West Haven’s Notre Dame H.S. and Connecticut (1970-72), Ray G. Tellier coached more Columbia football games than anyone except Lou Little (1930-56, 234 games).  Tellier became Columbia’s 16th head football coach in Jan. 1989 and had his first winning season […]

Gene Rossides

Gene Rossides (College football.  Born, Brooklyn, NY, Oct. 23, 1927.)  Owing to World War II manpower shortages, Eugene Telemachus Rossides was a starting back at Columbia as a freshman in 1945 and he took full advantage, piling up 1,062 all-purpose yards and leading the Lions to an 8-1 record and a No. 20 ranking in […]

Manny Rivero

Manny Rivero (College football.  Born, Havana, Cuba, Nov. 3, 1908; died, Rising Sun, MD, Aug. 18, 2001.)  A true pioneer among Latin athletes in major Eastern colleges, Manuel Rivero was a star running back at Columbia (1930-32) in the days of single-wing football.  Rivero, who was also an outstanding baseball player, came to New York […]

Bob Ricca

Bob Ricca (College football.  Born, Flushing, NY, July 26, 1947.)  For 31 seasons, Bob Ricca was head coach of St. John’s football.  Ricca, an all-City player at Holy Cross H.S. and a varsity star at C.W. Post, became an assistant for the Redmen in 1970.  He became the head coach for what was then a […]

Ken Strong

Ken Strong (College and pro football.  Born, West Haven, CT, Apr. 21, 1906; died, New York, NY, Oct. 5, 1979.)  An early star for the Football Giants, and rated by most as New York University’s greatest athlete, Elmer Kenneth Strong was the leader of a college football team that enjoyed the greatest success in the school’s history.  […]

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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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