By Amber DeFabio
The 2015 football season will mark the 100th year KU has had men running the pig skin down the field. The “100 Seasons of KU Football” along with KU’s Sesquicentennial Celebration have created heightened anticipation from KU’s student body.
The DII NCAA football team has faced multiple challenges reaching its 100th season. After two players suffered life-threatening injuries, the football program was dropped until 1923. KU football then experienced another break in play in
1943 when many of the football players served in WWII.
However, after excelling season after season, KU produced running back Doug Dennison in 1974, running back Bruce Harper in 1976, and Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Reed in 1984. All three players continued their post college careers into the NFL.
In 1994 and 1995, the arguably best defensive player in KU’s football history reigned supreme. John Mobley was an All-American selection multiples times and was the first player in conference history to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft. He was then chosen by the Denver Broncos in 1996.
KU was also home to one of the oldest players in college football history to play in a game. Chuck Roseberry was 46 years old and played as a defensive lineman on KU’s 1994 squad.
The Golden Bears have played through some of the best seasons in DII collegiate football history and on other occasions, have fallen short.
However, they have also housed All-Americans Fiorindo DeMatteo (’38), Dick Campeotta (’55), Steve Head (’77), Don Shaver (’79), Pete Merkel (’91), Mark Steinmeyer (’91), John Mobley (’94, ’95), Denauld Brown (’97), Pete Mendez (’01, ’02), Michael Baldwin (’05), Brian Bingnear (’06, ’07), Elfren Quiles (’07), Jason Henshaw (’11), Brett Moss (’11), Aaron McGlynn (’11), Alex DiNolfi (’11), Josh Mastromatto (’11), Kevin Morton (’11, ’12), and Jordan Morgan (’14).
The KU student body is expecting big things from the Golden Bears this season, kicking off the 100th KU football season the proper way, with fireworks and winning results.