1953 William & Mary Indians football team

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1953 William & Mary Indians football
Conference Southern Conference
1953 record 5–4–1 (3–2 SoCon)
Head coach Jack Freeman (1st year)
Home stadium Cary Field
Seasons
← 1952
1954 →
1953 Southern Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 10 West Virginia $ 4 0 0     8 2 0
Furman 2 0 0     7 2 0
George Washington 4 2 0     5 4 0
William & Mary 3 2 0     5 4 1
Richmond 3 3 0     5 3 1
VPI 3 3 0     5 5 0
VMI 3 3 0     5 5 0
Washington and Lee 2 4 0     4 6 0
The Citadel 1 3 0     2 7 0
Davidson 0 5 0     0 9 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1953 William & Mary Indians football team represented William & Mary during the 1953 college football season. The team is considered, within the school's community, to be one of the most remarkable stories in its athletics history.[1] Due to an academic cheating scandal (coincidentally unrelated to the 1951 scandal), eight of the team's starting members were dismissed from school and another portion of the remaining 33 players transferred out.[1] Among the 24 remaining players, five were returning Korean War veterans and one other had never played a minute of football in his life.[1] Many of them were undersized (the quarterback stood 5'8" and weighed 160 pounds) and even the coaching staff was few in numbers (five total, one of them being the head basketball coach).

Their schedule was so tough that opposing teams would call ahead to make sure that William & Mary still intended on playing them the following week.[1] Remarkably, the Indians started the season 5–2–1 and the only reason they finished with a 5–4–1 overall record was due to accumulating injuries with few available substitutions.[1] Six of the players would eventually go on to play professional football.[1] Their story of grit and determination in the face of overwhelming odds was later written about in a book titled The Iron Indians.[1]

Schedule[edit]

Date Opponent Site Result
September 19 vs. Wake Forest* City StadiumRichmond, Virginia (Tobacco Bowl) W 16–14  
September 26 at Navy* Thompson StadiumAnnapolis, Maryland T 6–6  
October 3 at Cincinnati* Nippert StadiumCincinnati L 7–57  
October 17 VPI Cary FieldWilliamsburg, Virginia W 13–7  
October 24 George Washington Cary FieldWilliamsburg, Virginia W 12–7  
October 31 at NC State* Riddick StadiumRaleigh, North Carolina W 7–6  
November 7 vs. VMI Roanoke, Virginia (Rivalry) L 19–20  
November 14 at Richmond City StadiumRichmond, Virginia (I-64 Bowl) W 21–0  
November 21 Washington and Lee Cary FieldWilliamsburg, Virginia L 7–33  
November 28 Boston University* Cary FieldWilliamsburg, Virginia L 14–41  
*Non-conference game.

NFL Draft selections[edit]

= NFL Hall of Fame = Canadian Football Hall of Fame = College Football Hall of Fame
Year Round Pick Overall Name Team Position
1954 3 12 37 Bowman, BillBill Bowman Detroit Lions Back
1954 5 12 61 George Parozzo Detroit Lions Tackle
1954 19 1 218 Jerry Sazio Chicago Cardinals Tackle
1954 22 5 258 Sumner, CharlieCharlie Sumner Chicago Bears Back

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Ducibella, Jim (September 30, 2011). ""Iron Indians" recalls a season of grit, determination". The College of William & Mary. Retrieved June 26, 2012.