HUGH DEVORE NAMED GRID COACH AT DAYTON
JANUARY 6 (Cincinnati) - Hugh Devore, assistant football coach of the Green Bay Packers the past season,Wednesday night was named head coach at the University of Dayton, succeeding Joe Gavin, who has resigned. Devore, 43, who will begin his 20th year in the coaching field, was appointed by Dayton Athletic Director Harry Raujan here for the NCAA's annual convention. The soft-spoken Devore was co-coach with Ray McLean for the Packers' last two games of the 1953 season following the resignation of Gene Ronzani. It was understood he was among those being considered for the head coaching job with the Packers. Devore, who taught Green Bay ends last year, played at Notre Dame, where he was graduated in 1934. From 1935 to 1937, he was an assistant to Frank Leahy at Fordham. In 1943, Devore returned to Notre Dame was an aide to Leahy and assumed head coaching duties in 1944, when the Irish coach entered military service. His team won seven, lost two and tied one. In 1946, he was named coach at St. Bonaventure College, where his teams won 25, lost nine and tied once in four season. He switched to New York University in 1950 and remained until the Violets abandoned big time football. Devore also coached at Fordham, Providence and Holy Cross.
MAY JOIN STEELERS
JANUARY 6 (Green Bay) - Gene Ronzani, deposed coach of the Green Bay Packers, is weighing an offer to join the staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
RONZANI MAY BE CARDINALS AID
JANUARY 6 (Chicago) - An exclusive story in the Chicago American stated Thursday that Gene Ronzani, deposed coach of the Green Bay Packers, is in line for a job as assistant to Joe Stydahar of the Chicago Cardinals. Stydahar is expected to drop all three of his present aids and will sign Ray Richards and Bob Snyder along with Ronzani, the story added.
BLACKBOURN SIGNS 3 YEAR CONTRACT TO COACH PACKERS
JANUARY 7 (Green Bay) - The Packers reached into the collegiate football coaching ranks Thursday for a successor to Gene Ronzani and came up with Lisle (Liz) Blackbourn, who just completed his fourth year as head coach at Marquette University. It is understood Blackbourn signed a three-year contract at $15,000 annually with Packer General Manager Verne Lewellen at Cincinnati. The 54-year old Blackbourn's salary at Marquette, where two years remained on a five-year contract, was less than $10,000. "I'm sorry to leave Marquette, but you've got to move along," Blackbourn said in a telephone interview from Cincinnati, where he was attending the NCAA convention. Blackbourn declined to discuss salary, but said an increase in wages was "a main consideration" in the change. He said he had been given a free hand in selection of this assistants and expected to name two within a short time. Regarding the switch, Blackbourn said: "All my coaching has been done in the state of Wisconsin, in high school, at the University of Wisconsin, and at Marquette. I was there when the Packers started in the NFL, and have always admired them. Our associations have always been close. I am very happy and proud to have an opportunity to work with the Packers, probably much more so than any persons without my Wisconsin background would be. I am looking forward to a very rough two weeks getting ready for the NFL draft. The new two weeks will be spent in looking over the Green Bay game films and the draft list which the Packers have compiled to ascertain just what talent we need and can get for the 1954 season." In answer to a question, Blackbourn said his new three-year contract does not contain a severance clause. Ronzani, who also had a three-year pact, reportedly was paid off after one season for $7,500. Marquette, under Blackbourn, posted a 18-17-4 record for four years. Last fall, Blackbourn's Hilltoppers lost on to three Big 10 teams - Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan State - by a total of nine points. Prior to becoming head coach at Marquette in 1950, Blackbourn served one year as line coach of the Hilltoppers and a season as backfield coach at the University of Wisconsin. Earlier he had been one of Wisconsin's most successful prep coaches, with a record of 140-30-6 at Milwaukee Washington High School over a 22-year span. Blackbourn is a native Wisconsinite, being born at Lancaster. He attended Lancaster schools, then starred on the gridiron at Lawrence College. He captained the Vikings in his senior year. He is married and the father of two sons. He and his wife, Maryland, and son Charles, presently live in Milwaukee, but expect to move to Green Bay shortly. His eldest son, Lisle, Jr., former Wisconsin quarterback during Harry Stuhldreher's tenure, operates the family farm in Beetown.
CHOICE OF BLACKBOURN CONFIRMS NEW APPROACH
JANUARY 8 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson) - Selection of Lisle (Liz) Blackbourn as the new head coach of the Packers is the second and conclusive bit of proof of the new approach in Green Bay to the problem of competing on a basis of equality with the rest of the NFL. The choice, incidentally, was not as unexpected as the sudden announcement Thursday would indicate. Despite the pledge of secrecy on the part of the screening committee appointed to survey the field of possible successors to Gene Ronzani, it was known that Blackbourn was among those approached and seriously considered. First step in the reshuffle was the decision to hire a general manager for the first time in the club's long history. Verne Lewellen, himself a former Packer star and long vitally interested in the Packers' welfare, accepted the assignment to coordinate all activities and take over many of the duties handled previously by the unwieldy executive committee. Lewellen also had headed the screening committee. So he was well equipped to tackle his first big job when he became general manager - that of picking the coach. He had interviewed and checked on the qualifications of Blackbourn, among others, before becoming a full-time employee of the Packer corporation. The second phase of what can be called the modernizing program had to do with the type of background and experience to be considered most desirable. Would the Packer chiefs go for one with professional experience? Or would they move into the university field? Lewellen undoubtedly had a lot to do with it. But whatever the main influence, it soon became apparent that most of the big wheels leaned toward a coach who had been identified successfully only with college football. The history of Paul Brown at Cleveland and Buck Shaw at San Francisco - than whom there are no more respected coaches in pro bowl - surely played an important part in the thinking. Ivy Williamson, Bud Wilkinson, Jim Tatum and Bernie Bierman were among those high on the prospect list along with Blackbourn. In fact, it was significant that the name of coach long connected with pro football never did pop up. Hugh Devore, who was in the running from the state, had his first whirl at the play for pay business last year when he left the college ranks to become Ronzani's assistant. Surely that was a fresh approach for one of the charter members of the pro league - a club which has had only two coaches, Ronzani and Curly Lambeau. With the exception of one springtime assignment at Notre Dame, all of Ronzani's coaching apprenticeship was served in the Chicago Bears' organization. Lambeau, who founded the Packers, has spent his entire coaching life with the pros. Blackbourn, who did an outstanding job for Marquette in his four years on the Hilltop, will do the same for the Packers or break his neck in the attempt. He's that type - the Paul Brown type. Aggressive, thorough, painstaking, great capacity for and willingness to work and work some more. He plays strictly to win and makes no bones about it. All his staff members and players better plan on doing the same or else. Liz's background, in fact, follows the Brown pattern to a considerable degree - a dazzling record in high school, successful in the university field. The main difference is that fate decreed it should take him longer to get into rugged postgraduate competition. Although the actual job is brand new, the Packers and what they mean to this state aren't new to Blackbourn. He is a native of Wisconsin, gained his higher education in this state (Lawrence College), has spent his entire coaching life in this state, and, obviously, has been intensely interested in everything having to do with football in this state. So he moved into his new assignment, his greatest challenge, knowing what it's all about and what it will take to get the Packers' house in order. It's noteworthy that Liz tackles the big one at an age when few men are looking for new worlds to conquer. That denotes a fighting spirit which, in turn, means he and the Packers can go far together. Here's to them!
HEARDEN NAME PACKER AID BY COACH BLACKBOURN
JANUARY 8 (Green Bay) - Within 36 hours of his appointment as head coach of the Green Bay Packers, Lisle Blackbourn announced Friday night he had selected Tom Hearden, former St. Norbert College mentor, as his assistant. Blackbourn's choice of Hearden was based on the fact that the Appleton-born coach is sound in fundamentals. In his seven years as mentor of the Green Knights he posted a 41-13 record before retiring after the 1952 season. During the past year Hearden has been at Wisconsin, working on his masters degree and acting as assistant freshman coach. The new Packers assistant attended grade schools in Green Bay before starring at Notre Dame in 1924-26. He played with the Packers in 1927. After remaining away from the game for a year, Hearden was appointed football coach at Racine St. Catherine where his teams won 34, lost eight and tied six over six years. In 1936 he returned to Green Bay, coaching Green Bay East to one of the best records compiled in the state. His East teams won 51 and lost only three while being tied twice in seven years. In 1943 Hearden joined the Navy and was named backfield coach under Don Faurot at Iowa Preflight where he remained until the team was disbanded two years later. He went to West De Pere as coach of St. Norbert in 1946. The 49-year old coach is married, the father of three children and resides in Green Bay. He is expected to report here Monday.
COLLEGE ALL-STARS TRIM HAWAII 11
JANUARY 8 (Honolulu) - Stanford's Bobby Garrett passed the College All-Stars to an 18-14 victory over the Hawaii All-Stars Friday night before 20,000 spectators in balmy Hawaiian weather. Garrett's pitching plus yeoman work from UCLA's Paul Cameron punched over three touchdowns in the first half. But the Hawaiians - although aided by six professionals - couldn't catch up. Outstanding player of the game, however, was halfback Skippy Dyer, a former Los Angeles junior college back, now with the Marines in Hawaii. His tricky open field running gave the crowd most of its thrills. The Hawaiian All-Stars made the only touchdown of the second half when Elroy (Crazylegs) Hirsch of the Los Angeles Rams took a sideline pass from Babe Parilli of the Green Bay Packers, shook off Cameron and went 25 yards for a touchdown in the third period.
PACKERS' OFFICIAL FAMILY UNVEILS BLACKBOURN TO SPORTS REPORTERS
JANUARY 12 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers' official family unveiled the new head football coach - Lisle Blackbourn - Tuesday noon at a luncheon in the Beaumont Hotel in Green Bay for the benefit of sports editors, and radio and television sports directors. Blackbourn, former head coach at Marquette University, impressed the gathering with his "down-to-earth" attitude but at the same time commanded the respect of everyone who came in contact with him during the 2-hour session. The Packers' new head man demonstrated clearly that he is strictly business and nothing will be left undone to give Wisconsin a better NFL representative. Blackbourn's thoroughness was evident from the outset when he reported that his study of game movies of the 1953 season was first and foremost on his agenda. When queried about how far he had progressed in this task, the likable Blackbourn replied that he had worked his way through half of one quarter of one game in a whole hour. That's just one example of Blackbourn's minute study of the Packer situation. The general feeling among the persons attending was that Blackbourn will present an interesting club - one which will stick with the T-formation and one which will have a passing attack that will click. Blackbourn expressed concern over selection of a line coach. He was especially desirous of landing an experienced NFL mentor for the job since it is his (Blackbourn's) conviction that in order to "live" in the NFL, one must have a good passing attack. The line coach is the man who makes the passing attack roll because of the many intricate blocking maneuvers. Selection of an end coach will be made after the line coach is picked, Blackbourn hinted. It is Blackbourn's idea that the line and end coaches will have to work quite closely together and the new Packer chief wants co-operation to the finest degree. This, too, is another example of Blackbourn's careful study of the Packers' needs. Blackbourn wasn't the only newcomer introduced at the luncheon. Vern Lewellen, former Packer punting great who accepted the general manager's job recently, also was on hand to lend his views. Lewellen believes that the Packers should conduct their training program in Green Bay as a move to rekindle the "old spirit". Also attending the affair were John Torinus, member of the executive committee and chairman of the promotional and publicity group; "Jug" Earp, publicity director; and Jack Vainisi, Packer scout for several seasons. If enthusiasm counts for anything then Blackbourn appears headed for some place "up" in the pro football world, veteran sports figures attending the luncheon opined. Accepting the Packer post was in a small measure, it was pointed out, a vital challenge for Blackbourn and men who have known the new Packer coach over the years insist he's going to knock off his goal.
PLAYER TRADES KEY IN PACKERS' REBUILDING PLAN
JANUARY 19 (Green Bay) - Player trades can be expected to play a major role in rebuilding the Green Bay Packers, General Manager Verne Lewellen said Saturday night at a banquet honoring newly-appointed coach Liz Blackbourn and assistant Tom Hearden. Lewellen said the club would go all out to "renew the famous Green Bay spirit. We picked Blackbourn to direct the rebuilding because we needed someone of high qualifications," said Lewellen. "We expect to get back to the teaching of fundamentals and winning football games." He pointed out that the Packers will get the No. 2 choice in the NFL player draft later this month and also have a chance at the bonus pick. Blackbourn traced the value of the Packers to Green Bay and the state. "The greatest thing the team can give is their best performance on the field," he said.
BLACKBOURN WILL SEEK TOP LINEMEN IN ANNUAL DRAFT
JANUARY 26 (Green Bay) - Top officials of the Green Bay Packers left today for the annual draft meeting of the NFL at Philadelphia. Lisle Blackbourn, the club's new coach, and Verne Lewellen, newly-appointed general manager, led a delegation which also included Packer President Russ Bogda, assistant coach Ray McLean and scout Jack Vainisi. Blackbourn, who resigned as Marquette University coach two weeks ago to take up the Packer job, said he was most interested in coming up with some standout linemen. He said the Packers need guards and tackles more than anything else. "We have to have a strong line before our backfield can start operating," he said. "I'd like to have a good halfback and a hard-running fullback, but the linemen are most important to us right now." The Packers will have the second choice in the annual draft of college players. It was not known who would be picked first by the Chicago Cardinals who have the first draw, but Bob Garrett of Stanford would get most of the attention. The Packers were not believed to be interested in Garrett, however. The Green Bay club already has two good passers in Babe Parilli and Tobin Rote.
PACKERS SELECT HUNTER, SWITZER AS TOP NFL DRAFT CHOICES
JANUARY 28 (Philadelphia) - The Green Bay Packers selected tackle Art Hunter of Notre Dame and halfback Veryl Switzer of Kansas State as first round choices Thursday in the annual NFL draft of college players. In addition to their own first round choice, the Packers selected Switzer as the New York Giants' first pick under terms of a previous agreement. That deal gave the Giants Army's Arnie Galiffa in exchange for Val Joe Walker, defensive back, and the first round choice. The bonus pick went to the Cleveland Browns, who selected quarterback Bob Garrett of Stanford. Four other clubs had a chance for that privilege under NFL rules, but Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and the Chicago Cardinals were shut out until next year when the Browns' publicity director pulled out the winning slip. Wisconsin stars picked were backs Roger Dornburg, Jim Haluska, and Jerry Witt and tackle Windy Gulseth. The Giants grabbed Gulseth in the 12th round and the Redskins got Dornburg in the 13th and Witt in the 19th round. The Bears named Haluska in the 30th round. The Packers named Marquette end Hosea Sims as their 27th choice. Most of the clubs passed up highly publicized All-Americans to concentrate on rugged runners, passers and big linemen. The first player chosen after Garrett, when the clubs settled down to the regular draft, was Lamar McHan of Arkansas, who went to the Cardinals. McHan, an outstanding offensive back, is regarded as especially valuable as an all-around player who does everything well. Green Bay then picked Hunter, the Notre Dame captain, and it wasn't until the sixth regular choice that the Steelers picked All-American Johnny Lattner of the Irish. The next All-American, Don Doheney of Michigan State, didn't come up until the fifth round of drafting. Hunter, who played offensive end during his first two seasons at Notre Dame, was named at tackle on most All-America teams last fall. He is 6-3, weighs 221 and hails from Akron, OH. Tackle Bob Fleck of Syracuse was the Packers' second round choice and guard George Timberlake of Southern California their third pick.
STEVENS POINT POSSIBLE TRAINING SITE
JANUARY 28 (Stevens Point) - Stevens Point remains a possibility as training site for the Green Bay Packers this summer. An informal committee will meet Friday and from that number representatives may be chosen to go to Green Bay and confer with the professional football team's officials. The city can offer the Packers an attractive setup at Central State college which has convenient facilities for living quarters and eating as well as practicing. An intrasquad game such as concludes the August drills could be viewed by more than 5,000 fans with the addition of bleachers in the end zones of Goerke Park. Wausau, Eagle River and Ripon have all taken steps to lure the Packers to their communities. Green Bay, itself, where for many years the Bays did their pre-season work at Rockwood Lodge, could turn out to be training headquarters again. And, though Grand Rapids seemed out of the question, it is possible the Packers may even choose that Minnesota camp once more. Right now the main concern of the Packers is this week's draft taking place in Philadelphia. Vern Lewellen, the new business manager, says no camp will be picked until after the meeting. Both he and Blackbourn are reportedly leaning toward Green Bay but naturally could be swayed by tempting offers such as one that could originate out of Stevens Point.
RYMKUS TO HELP COACH PACKERS
JANUARY 29 (Philadelphia) - Head coach Lisle Blackbourn of the Green Bay Packers announced today that Lou Rymkus, former Notre Dame tackle who played on six professional championship teams, had been signed as his assistant and line coach of the NFL team. Rymkus, who is 34, played with the Washington Redskins in 1943 after his graduation from Notre Dame, and after Navy service was on the six straight title teams of the Cleveland Browns. He retired as a player after 1951, but returned to the game as an assistant coach of the Calgary team in the Canadian league last season. Rymkus is married and the father of twin boys, Pat and Mike, nine years old. Blackbourn also said that Scooter McLean has signed his 1954 contract for his fourth season as another assistant on the Packer coaching staff.
NFL REWARDS BELL WITH 12-YEAR PACT
JANUARY 29 (Philadelphia) - The NFL rewarded commissioner Bert Bell with a new 12-year contract Friday. But Bell turned down a raise in pay. The commissioner receives the comfortable salary of $30,000 a year, plus a $10,000 annual payment into a pension fund for him. And he pointed to the unusual costs to the league in the last few years as the reason for turning down the increase. Bell said the league had spent $200,000 in the past two years to settle its affairs in connection with defunct Dallas club, payments on a lease on Yankee Stadium by the equally defunct New York Yankees, settling the Baltimore tangle, where one club was moved out and a new franchise later was issued, and on the costs so far of defending the government's anti-trust television suit. All that was done without an assessment against the clubs. With more still to be paid in connection with the TV suit, Bell figured that even the television-inspired prosperity of the clubs might not stand a further drain on the league's treasury. Eventually, the club owners voted down by a 7-5 margin a proposal designed to prevent piling up on a downed ball carrier and let a couple of other suggested changes die. The reading of the league's financial report showed attendance increased 45 percent from 1945 to 1953 and 35 percent between 1949 and 1953. In a night session, the club owners narrowly rejected a proposal to increase the player limit to 35 men for each club, instead of the present 33, and to abolish the "injured reserve" list.
PACKERS PUT STRESS ON PICKING LINEMEN
JANUARY 29 (Philadelphia) - The Green Bay Packers moved Thursday toward building a forward wall in the NFL draft. The first three selections of the Packers were ace college linemen, headed by Notre Dame's Art Hunter, a tackle considered among the best in the nation. After Hunter, Green Bay coach Lisle Blackbourn selected another tackle, Bob Fleck of Syracuse, and guard George Timberlake of Southern California, both highly regarded linemen. The Packers did not choose a back until the fourth round, and they traded that one, Ralph Felton of Maryland, to Washington on a previous commitment. A first-choice back went to Green Bay, however, when New York traded the Packers its initial pick, Veryl Switzer of Kansas State. On the fifth go-round Blackbourn got a speedy back in Max McGee, Tulane halfback. The Packers traded their next pick, back Pence Dacus of Southwest Texas State, to Detroit. The Packers also traded their 15th choice, Edward Gossage, Georgia Tech tackle, to San Francisco.
PLAYING THE GAME (WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL)
FEBRUARY 1 (Madison) - One of the mysteries of the NFL draft remains the case of Oklahoma's J.D. Roberts. Here was a guard who was practically a unanimous All-American choice, was named as "Lineman of the Year" by both Associated Press and United Press, was the outstanding lineman in the Orange Bowl game. The Green Bay Packers got him as their 17th choice. A total of 194 players had been drafted by league clubs before Green Bay picked up the 5-10, 210-pound Oklahoma star. The only explanation that makes sense is that Roberts let it be known that he might play professional football.
BAYS SIGN HUNTER, TOP DRAFT PICK
FEBRUARY 3 (Green Bay) - Green Bay Packer coach Lisle Blackbourn Wednesday announced the signing of his No. 1 draft choice, tackle Art Hunter of Notre Dame. Considered one of the top college tackles in the nation, the versatile 6-4, 240-pounder won letters as a center and end as well as tackle. Hunter, 21, lives in Akron, OH, where he won seven high school letters, two in baseball, two in football and three in basketball. Blackbourn said Hunter "will give us the help we need at offensive tackle. He is a real first class operator." It was the NFL teams first signing of a new draft choice.
BOB KENNEDY SIGNS AGAIN WITH PACKERS
FEBRUARY 4 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers Thursday signed Bob Kennedy, former Hodag ace and an all-Big Ten defensive guard at the University of Wisconsin in 1951 and 1952, for another go in the pro ranks. Kennedy was the Packers' sixth choice in the 1953 NFL draft but after training for a time with the club at Grand Rapids, MN last simmer he left to complete his studies at Wisconsin. Last fall Kennedy did his playing with the Wausau Muskies.
BABY DAUGHTER BORN TO JUNIOR BLACKBOURNS
FEBRUARY 6 (Lancaster) - Lisle Blackbourn, new football coach of the Green Bay Packers, has become a grandfather for the first time. Mrs. Lisle Blackbourn, Jr. gave birth to a baby girl here Thursday morning. The child's father played football at the University of Wisconsin and now operates a farm near here.
THREE PACKER ROOKIES SIGN, INCLUDING KNUTSON OF BELOIT
FEBRUARY 11 (Green Bay) - Two University of Michigan football players - end Gene Knutson and tackle Jim Balong - signed NFL contracts today with the Green Bay Packers. Knutson, a 225-pounder, was a defensive specialist until last fall when he became a two-way operator. He was the Packers' 10th draft choice. Balog, who weighs 220 pounds, was signed as a free agent. Knutson, whose home is in Beloit, is the second members of the 1949 Associated Press all-Wisconsin high school team to sign a pro contract for 1954. The other is fullback Neil Worden of Milwaukee, Notre Dame star who agreed to terms with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Packers Wednesday signed Milt Kadlec, star fullback at Illinois Normal of Bloomington, IL. He returned to Normal last fall after playing two seasons with the San Diego Marines. He was runnerup in the Interstate Conference selection of its most valuable player.
PACKERS SIGN FLECK, SYRACUSE GUARD WHO WAS NO. 2 PICK
FEBRUARY 15 (Green Bay) - Bob Fleck, No. 2 draft choice of the Green Bay Packers, has signed a NFL contract with the Bays. Fleck, an outstanding guard at Syracuse University last season, was picked after Notre Dame's Art Hunter in the NFL draft where the Packers sought to assure themselves a strong front wall for the 1954 season. His signature Saturday gave the Packers a possible middle lineman who can play both offense and defense and moved his 256-pound frame as fast as some backs. Coach Lisle Blackbourn said, "We were really high on Fleck...because he fits right into our line rebuilding plans." He said Fleck was "well mended" from head injuries received in an auto accident the day after the NFL draft last month. Fleck was a star basketball and football players in Coatesville, PA, and later at Manlius Military Academy in Manlius, NY. He co-captained the Syracuse team last year.
PACKERS SIGN VERYL SWITZER
FEBRUARY 24 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers Tuesday announced the signing of Veryl Switzer, star Kansas State halfback, for the 1954 football season. Coach Lisle Blackbourn said he was "extremely pleased" to acquire the two-way back who was the No. 1 choice of the New York Giants at the college player draft last month. By a trade agreement reached last year, the Packers had an option on the Giants' first choice in the 1954 draft. The 21-year old Switzer is considered one of the greatest halfbacks ever to play for Kansas State. He stands 5-11 and weighs 192 pounds.
FEBRUARY 26 (Green Bay) - Bob Kennedy, former Wisconsin football star, is sorry about leaving the Green Bay Packers' training camp last fall without advance warning. Art Daley of the Press-Gazette reports that Kennedy, who has signed a 1954 Packer contract, wrote recently to scour Jack Vainisi that he is "grateful to the club after the stuff I pulled last year - this time I'll be with you all the way."
PACKER OFFICIALS "IMPRESSED" BY STEVENS POINT
FEBRUARY 27 (Stevens Point) - Coach Lisle Blackbourn and general manager Vern Lewellen of the Green Bay Packers left Stevens Point Friday afternoon "impressed with what the city has to offer" in connection with the invitation to have the professional team train here this summer. The important figures in the organization of the NFL's member from Wisconsin looked over facilities at Central State college and P.J. Jacobs High School in the morning. They discussed aspects of the possible move during a noon luncheon at Hotel Whiting with a local committee which has been working toward bringing the pro gridders here for their summer practice. It was expected that the Packers will make an announcement within 30 to 60 days and in the meantime will be investigating other invitations from Eagle River, Ripon and Two Rivers. Green Bay worked out at Grand Rapids, MN last year but desires to make its training site in the future a little closer to the home city. If the club picked Stevens Point as its pre-season headquarters, the team would be here beginning probably July 25 and continuing for from three to five weeks. The highlight of the summer preparation session is an intra-squad game, which is open to the public.
PACKERS SIXTH IN LOOP OFFENSE
FEBRUARY 28 (Philadelphia) - Official NFL ball carrying statistics for the 1953 season released Saturday showed the Green Bay Packers finished sixth in team standings. The Packers gained 1,665 yards in 424 attempts for an average of 3.9 per carry. San Francisco was first with 2,230 yards in 443 attempts for a 5.03 average. The best an individual on the Packer squad could do in yardage gained was Floyd Reid who finished in eighth place. Joe Perry of San Francisco was first with 1,018 yards in 192 attempts.
PACKERS 3RD IN PASS THEFTS, ANNOUNCE EXHIBITION SLATE
MARCH 2 (Philadelphia) - The Green Bay Packers placed third in team standings in the official NFL statistics on pass interceptions released today. The Detroit Lions headed the list with 38 interceptions for a total of 663 yards returned, or an average return of 17.4 yards. Green Bay had 28 interceptions for 351 yards and an average return of 12.5 yards. Baltimore was second. In individual ratings only two Packers placed in the first 25 on the list. Bobby Dillon placed sixth with nine interceptions with a total of 112 yards returned and an average of 12.4 yards. Ben Aldridge of the Bays was 19th with 5 interceptions for a total return of 85 yards and a 17.0 average return. Meanwhile in Green Bay, at a stockholders' meeting Monday night the Packers announced a tentative six-game exhibition schedule and a profit of $29,267 for last season. Officials said receipts for 1953 were $786,841, among the highest in the Packers' history. But expenses totalled $757,574, also an increase over 1952. General Manager Vern Lewellen announced this schedule: Chicago Cardinals at Minneapolis, August 14; Cleveland Browns at Green Bay, August 21; Pittsburgh Steelers at Pittsburgh, August 27; Philadelphia at Atlantic City, September 5; Washington at Raleigh, NC, September 11, and New York at Milwaukee, September 18. Russell Bodga of Green Bay was re-elected president of the Packers at the meeting.
PARROTT REPORTED SIGNED BY PACKERS
MARCH 3 (Neenah) - According to reports, Lee Parrott, Neenah police officer, has been signed to play professional football with the Green Bay Packers. When questioned today, Parrott said he had no comment on reports that he has signed a contract. Coach Blackbourn of the Green Bay Packers was away from Green Bay and could not be reached this morning. Parrott played football at Neenah High school for four years, playing tackle and fullback. He weighs over 200 pounds. Following his graduation from Neenah High school in 1948, he served in the Army, joining the police force in May 1953.
TWO BACKS SIGNED BY GREEN BAY 11
MARCH 4 (Green Bay) - Coach Lisle Blackbourn of the Green Bay Packers signed two more backs for the NFL season. including halfback Joe Johnson, Boston College captain. Johnson has been the big charge in Boston's running attack for three years, with an average of more than four yards per carry. He stands an inch over six feet, weighs 180 pounds. Also signed was fullback Ken Bahnsen, former North Texas State players who spent last season with the San Francisco 49ers. He was acquired as a free agent.
PARILLI WILL HELP COACH TEXAS AGGIES
MARCH 6 (College Station, TX) - Babe Parilli, former star Kentucky quarterback, will help coach the backs during Texas A&M's spring football training period opening Monday. Paul Bryant, director of athletics and head coach, announced that Parilli, who played with the Green Bay Packers the past two seasons, will work the first two weeks of A&M's spring grid practice.
PACKER STARS ON MEND
MARCH 10 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers' Gib Dawson and Don Barton, hampered by injuries last years, are on the mend, reports Art Daley of the Press-Gazette. The pair sparkled as the University of Texas Old-Timers beat the Varsity, 14-12, in a spring game, with Barton setting up one score with a 30-yard run and Dawson scoring both touchdowns and kicking both extra points.
BAYS RETURN MOST KICKOFFS
MARCH 10 (Philadelphia) - The Green Bay Packers were high team with 56 returns, NFL 1953 statistics on kickoff returns showed today, but stood eighth in team standings for average distance returns. The New York Giants finished in first place with an average return of 26.3 yards in 41 returns for a total 1,077 yards. Green Bay's returns netted a total of 1,197 yards but an average of only 21.4 yards. In individual players standings, Al Carmichael of the Bays ranked eighth with 26 returns for a total of 641 yards or a 24.7 average. His longest return was 43 yards.
FORMER ILLINI STARS SIGNED BY PACKERS
MARCH 11 (Green Bay) - Two former University of Illinois stars, quarterback Elry Falkenstein and center Herb Borman, were signed as free agents today by the Green Bay Packers. Falkenstein had a .500 passing average - 36 completions in 72 attempts - with last fall's Illini eleven which shared the Big Ten championship with Michigan State, and Borm was a three letterman in the line.
PACKERS SIGN TWO MARQUETTE GRADS
MARCH 15 (Green Bay) - Lisle Blackbourn, Green Bay Packers' head coach, Sunday announced the signing of two former Marquette University football players to 1954 contracts. End Hosea Smith and tackle Ed Frank, who both played under Blackbourn at Marquette, agreed to terms.
RONZANI JOINS STEELER STAFF
MARCH 22 (Pittsburgh) - Gene Ronzani was back in professional football today. The former head coach of the Green Bay Packers was signed Saturday by the Pittsburgh Steelers as backfield coach for the 1954 season. Ronzani resigned under pressure with two games left in the 1953 Packers season. In his three complete seasons with the Bays, the 44-year old coach won 12 and lost 24. A native of Iron Mountain, MI, Ronzani payed college ball at Marquette and then joined the Chicago Bears as a player in 1933 and played on three championship teams. He became an assistant coach in 1947 and later moved to the Packer organization.
BAYS PLAY ALL
MARCH 24 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers, for the second time in 22 years, will meet all 11 NFL members this fall. The exhibition schedule includes all six members of the eastern division and the 12-game regular card list the five western clubs twice plus Philadelphia and Pittsburgh again.
PARILLI TO ASSIST
MARCH 25 (Blacksburg, VA) - Babe Parilli, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, was named an assistant coach for Virginia Tech's spring football drills. Frank Moseley, Tech;s head coachm, said Parilli probably would begin spring workouts sometime next week. The Packer player formerly was a star at Kentucky at the time Moseley and a Tech assistant, Buck Chapman, were assistant coaches for the Wildcats. During Tech's spring drills, Parilli will work with the quarterbacks.
PACKERS SIGN BACK
MARCH 27 (Green Bay) - Green Bay Packers announced today the signing of of their No. 10 draft choice of two years ago. William (Bud) Roffler, former Washington State halfback, became the 16th news man to join the 1954 Packers. A 200-pound halfback, Roffler has been in service since graduation and played last fall with the unbeaten Fort Ord (CA) Army team.
BAYS SIGN ROOKIE QB BUT LOSE J.R. BOONE
APRIL 1 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers signed a rookie quarterback and lost a veteran halfback today. Head coach Liz Blackbourn said Bob Burkhart, 195-pound quarterback from Washington State, had signed as a free agent, and that J.R. Boone, a veteran of six years in the NFL, had retired. Boone played four years with the Chicago bears after leaving Tulsa University, a season with the San Francisco 49ers and last year with the Packers. He is going into the nut business in California.
PACKERS SIGN MCGEE, FORMER TULANE BACK
APRIL 6 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers Monday signed Max McGee, halfback from Tulane and the Packer' No. 5 draft choice., McGee, who stands 6-3 and weighs 197, was an all-round performer at Tulane, playing every position in the backfield except quarterback.
GREEN BAY PACKERS SELECT STEVENS POINT FOR TRAINING
APRIL 6 (Stevens Point) - Stevens Point is the new training home of the Green Bay Packers. The agreement that brings the state's only professional football team to the city for five weeks this summer was signed her Tuesday afternoon. Verne Lewellen, general manager of the Packers, and Carl Wallace, manager of the Stevens Point Chamber of Commerce, placed their signatures on the papers after a luncheon meeting of local businessmen and industry executives at Hotel St. George. The Packers - 60 strong in the playing ranks and about 10 other personnel included Head Coach Lisle Blackbourn and his trio of assistants - will arrive here Sunday July 25, and begin their practice sessions the following day. They will remain her until late in the week of August 22-28 and possible return for a few days during the week of August 29-September 4. Delzell and Nelson Halls on the Central State college campus will be the headquarters for the Packers during their training period. Definite plans have not been established but it is expected the players will live at Delzell for the first week while the college's summer session concludes. Then a decision will be made as to whether to remain at Delzell or move to Nelson where they will be eating their meal during the entire stay. Practice facilities have been made available at the college on Schmeeckle field and on the practice areas of Goerke Park. The playing field at Goerke Park will be the scene of the intra-squad game on Saturday August 7, the highlight of the month-long training period so far as Stevens Point and area fans are concerned. Following the third week of drills on Saturday night August 14, Green Bay will go to Minneapolis to play its first exhibition game with the Chicago Cardinals. The Packers have another non-league affair the following Saturday evening August 21 in their hometown of Green Bay against the Cleveland Browns. Green Bay is scheduled to east hear the end of their fifth and final full week of drills here and will play in Pittsburgh against the Steelers on August 27, 28 or 29, the definite date to be established later. The team will remain in the east or return to Stevens Point after the Pittsburgh contest. If the Packers decide to come back here, they will leave again - and break camp permanently in Stevens Point for this summer - late in the week of August 29-September 4. They are scheduled to play in Atlantic City on September 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles and in Raleigh, NC against Washington on September 12. Green Bay heads back to its home state after the battle with the Redskins and play the annual Shrine charity game in Milwaukee on Saturday night September 18 against the New York Giants. Then the Packers go to Green Bay and prepare for their 1954 NFL opened on Sunday afternoon September 26 with Pittsburgh. Stevens Point was selected as the new training headquarters of the Packers after they announced they were abandoning their station in Grand Rapids, MN, because they wanted to practice at a location nearer their home city. In the running for acquiring the team for its pre-season drill sessions were Green Bay (St. Norbert College, De Pere), Ripon and Two Rivers in addition to Stevens Point. The official release from the office of F.L. "Jug" Earp, director of public relations of the Packers, said in part: "Splendid dormitory accomodations and dining room facilities are provided (at Stevens Point), as well as two practice fields. This will enable Blackbourn to select proper menus for the boys and the opportunity to house the squad together during the important training weeks." The release implied in another section that St. Norbert ranked high in consideration as a training site. "St. Norbert College, which would return the Packers home for their training, was not available this year because of summer school and other college activities requiring facilities of the dormitory and dining room until the middle of August," said Earp in his announcement. Lewellen stated that he and Blackbourn, who will be starting his first year as head coach of the club, were impressed from the start not only with the facilities available in Stevens Point but also with the enthusiasm shown here." The Packers' general manager, who also is in his first year in that capacity with the club, added that one of the points that tipped the scales in favor of Stevens Point was the fine facilities for staging the intrasquad game. He mentioned that Ripon had excellent practice and housing facilities and that Two Rivers also had more than adequate area for staging drills. However, neither city has the stadium setup such as is at Goerke Park. Seating arrangements for at least 5,500 persons will be made for the intra-squad game here and many more "standing room" customers can be accommodated. Lewellen had praise for the enthusiastic element in the city concerning the possibility of the Packers training here. He singled out the willingness of the large Chamber of Commerce Packer committee to take care of the various aspects of bringing the team here. "The enthusiasm from all angles shown in Stevens Point went far in our decision to come here for our training period," said Lewellen, adding: "The Packer organization feels this type of response will help our team this year and in seasons to come."
PACKERS ANNOUNCE TICKET PRICE CUTS
APRIL 20 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers today announced a reduction in prices on single game and season tickets for the 1954 NFL season. General Manager Verne Lewellen said season tickets for the three games here or the three at Milwaukee would be scaled at $14.25, $10.50 and $7.50, compared to the 1953 prices of $15, $11.40 and $7.50. Single game tickets were cut to $4.75, $3.50 and $2.40. The previous prices were $5, $3.60 and $2.50. The reductions were in line withe federal tax cut of from 20 to 10 percent on admission tickets which became effective April 1. The Packers will play Pittsburgh, the Chicago Bears and Detroit at City Stadium here and San Francisco, Los Angeles and Baltimore in County Stadium at Milwaukee.
PACKERS PLAN TO USE OPEN HUDDLE SYSTEM
APRIL 21 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers will use the open huddle this fall, says new coach Liz Blackbourn who points out its purpose is to "eliminate all the arguing between the quarterback and his teammates". The open huddle differs from the standard circular formation in that the quarterback stands with his back to the defense facing two rows of his own players.
WINNIPEG BOMBERS SIGN RAY PELFREY
APRIL 22 (Winnipeg) - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers Wednesday signed Ray Pelfrey, 24-year old end and halfback who played last season for the New York Giants. He is the 12th "import" from the United States signed by the Bombers for the 1954 season. Pelfrey played for the Green Bay Packers in 1951 and 1952.
PACKER DRAFTEE TREKS TO NORTH
APRIL 24 (Winnipeg) - Halfback Evan Slonac, a former star with Michigan State, selected by the Green Bay Packers in the NFL draft, signed today with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The 23-year old, 170-pound Slonac becomes the 15th U.S. import to sign with the Western Interprovincial Football Union club. Slonac, who played in the 1954 Rose Bowl game, was a member of the Spartans famed "pony backfield", consisting of quarterback Tom Yewcic and halfbacks Leroy Bolden and Billy Wells.
JOHN BIOLO IS NAMED FERZACCA'S SUCCESSOR
APRIL 28 (Green Bay) - John Biolo, an assistant football coach at Green Bay West High School for three years, was appointed head coach today. He succeeds F.L. (Frosty) Ferzacca, who resigned to become head coach at Marquette University. Biolo, a native of Iron Mountain, MI, played football at Lake Forest College and pro ball with the Green Bay Packers in 1939. He coached a semi-pro team at Kenosha in 1940-41 and after military service became line coach at St. Norbert College.
PACKERS LOSE JOHNSON
APRIL 28 (Toronto) - David (Kosse) Johnson, Rice's All-America fullback of 1953 and a draft choice of the Green Bay Packers, signed to play with the Toronto Argonauts Tuesday. His play helped Rice defeat Alabama in the Cotton Bowl on January 1.
TWO GREEN BAY SATURDAY GAMES WILL BE TELEVISED
APRIL 30 (New York) - Two Green Bay Packers Saturday night games this fall will be televised on a coast-to-coast network. Television plans for the 1954 season were announced jointly Wednesday by Bert Bell, NFL Commissioner, and Thomas McMahon, director of sports for the DuMont television network. The Saturday night schedule includes Green Bay at Philadelphia October 30 and Baltimore vs Green Bay at Milwaukee November 13. Seven other NFL Saturday night games will be televised. In all case the games will be "blacked out" in the city and immediate are in which they are played. Blackouts include Green Bay when Packer "home" games in Milwaukee are televised. Altogether, more than 60 NFL games will be shown either nationally or regionally from September 25 through December 11.
PACKERS SIGN RINGO AND MACE, SYRACUSE STARS
MAY 11 (Green Bay) - Two former Syracuse University players, Jim Ringo and Dice Mace, have been signed by the Green Bay Packers for the 1954 season. Ringo was a center on the 1953 Packer squad. Mace, a tackle, signed as a free agent, returns to NFL competition after one season with Ottawa in the Canadian League. A leg injury sidelined Ringo for the last half of the season in '53 after he had won a starting spot at the offensive center position.