The University of Puget Sound will honor their 1967 football team with a 50th anniversary celebration during the Loggers’ Homecoming game against Lewis and Clark on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 1 p.m. The anniversary will mark Puget Sound’s initial foray into the ranks of NCAA Div. II football, after leaving the NAIA and the Evergreen Conference. There will also be a gathering following the game at Joeseppi’s Restaurant to celebrate with the players and staff in attendance. All supporters of the Loggers are invited and are required to make reservations.
The remarkable success of Logger athletics during the NCAA Division II era, from 1967 to 1983, brought national attention to the University and to the city of Tacoma.
As an example of what a difference it made to compete as an NCAA school, in 1967 the Logger football team logged some 4,400 miles on the road, compared to about 1,100 miles in the previous season. The Loggers’ travels in the fall of 1967 included a game against Cal Western (later “U.S. International University”) in the original Balboa Stadium, which had been until that year, the home of the San Diego Chargers.
The 1967 Loggers set or tied 41 school records. Among the new records was a national collegiate record, one never before accomplished, which has since been tied, but never broken. In a single game, Jerome Crawford returned three punts for touchdowns. Jerome’s dashes to the end zone of 97, 59, and 84 yards came in the Loggers’ first game as an NCAA school, a 41-0 victory at Whitworth, on Sept. 16.
Players from every school in the Tacoma City League were represented on the 1967 Loggers’ roster, and the highest number of African-American students on the football team in the school’s history. Among the 1967 Loggers were Mike Price, later inducted to Washington State University’s Hall of Fame, for his accomplishments as the Cougars’ head coach, and Al Roberts, who went on to a distinguished 18-year coaching career in the National Football League.
Possibly the most remarkable accomplishment by the 1967 squad was the complete manhandling of their four Washington state foes. UPS defeated Whitworth 41-0, Pacific Lutheran 37-0, Western Washington 20-0 and Central Washington by a score of 21-3. Combined, the Loggers outscored their statewide rivals by an incredible 119-3. This feat had never happened before, and has not happened since.
Area football fans should also make a note that the annual crosstown rivalry game between Puget Sound (1-1) and Pacific Lutheran (0-1) will kick-off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30 at Sparks Stadium