University News

1959 Coaches: front (l-r) Guy Ricci, Art Dufelmeier; back (l-r) Joe Collier, Lou Saban, Red Miller
[Download Print-Quality Image]

'59 Football Team Coaches Named Grand Marshals of WIU Homecoming Parade

October 14, 2008


Share |
Printer friendly version

Homecoming King & Queen


MACOMB, IL - - A quintet of coaches who led the Western Illinois University football Leathernecks to the 1959 undefeated season and to the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) championship have been named grand marshals of Western's 2008 Homecoming Parade.

The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18 near the Macomb Courthouse Square.

Lou Saban was head coach (1957-1959) of the team that is in Western's history books as the first, and only, undefeated, untied team (9-0). That year he was chosen NAIA Coach of the Year. Saban's Western teams were 20-5 during his three-year tenure, before he went on to a successful coaching career in the National Football League with the Boston Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos. Saban was inducted into the Western Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame in 1974.

Robert "Red" Miller ('50 MS-Ed '55) and Joe Collier were assistant coaches for the 1959 team before Saban tagged them to join him in the NFL. Miller was the Leathernecks football MVP in 1947, 1948 and 1949, when he was the team captain. He went on to coach 24 years in the NFL. Miller was inducted into the Western Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame in 1974. He also has received the Alumni Achievement Award (1973) and the Distinguished Alumni Award (1974).

Collier also coached professional football for 28 years, including 20 years with the Denver Broncos. He is considered by many National Football League experts to be one of the finest defensive coaches of the game. Collier was inducted into the Western Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame in 1989.

Art Dufelmeier was an assistant coach from 1949-1959, then Western's head football coach from 1960-1968. He also had a highly successful high school coaching career at Havana (IL). Dufelmeier was inducted into the Western Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame for his WIU coaching in 1986. He was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005 as a member of the 1953-1954 Leatherneck basketball team. That squad, guided by Coach Stix Morley, earned Western's first NAIA national tournament berth, placing second in the 32-team field.

The late Guy Ricci, who was an assistant coach for the '59 team, is a posthumous honoree. He also served as baseball coach (1955-1969) and was an assistant basketball coach for 15 years before he was named head basketball coach (1969-1973). Ricci was inducted into the Western Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame in 1987.

Western's Homecoming Parade will start from the Macomb Courthouse Square at the corner of Washington and Lafayette streets heading north. It will proceed along the South and East Side Square and exit on to Carroll St., heading west. The parade will turn right (north) on to Clay St., then left on to Adams St., passing both Sherman Hall and the Alumni House. The parade will end in front of the Corbin-Olson residence halls.

For more information, visit www.wiu.edu/alumni/events/homecoming/parade.php.



Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations