On September 11, 2021, the new Terwilliger Center for Student Athletes was formally dedicated in Ricketts Hall. In addition to being the home of our “Class of 1972 Sports Performance & Rehabilitation Center,” the Terwilliger Center is also home of the Class of 1965 Navy Legends Exhibit that celebrates former Navy student athletes who excelled in their respective sports while at USNA.
As you may recall, back in May 2021, Chet Gladchuk, the USNA Athletic Director (AD), initiated an effort to recognize athletes that the members of each USNA Class considered highly accomplished. In other words, we–their classmates–would select these individuals based upon our view that they had a great impact on the morale of the Brigade and Academy’s athletic program during our tenure at USNA. We subsequently announced this effort through The Gouge and requested that nominations be submitted to our Class President, Bob Leib. After carefully reviewing all of the nominations, and in keeping with the AD’s submission guidance, the Class of 1972 proudly nominated eight of our Classmates for the Class of 1965 Navy Sports Legends Exhibit. I’d like to share that submission package with you…
The Class of 1972 is proud and honored to have 14 Classmates named to the United States Naval Academy Sports Hall of Fame (HOF). Suggestions received for nominees as the Class of 1972 Sports Legends included 7 HOF members as well as 8 Classmates who had unique and noteworthy athletic accomplishments during our four years at USNA. Classmate suggestions for nominees included:
|Richard Brilla||Track & Field||James P. Dunn*||Squash|
|Lloyd Keaser*||Wrestling||Nick Lakis||Track & Field|
|Denny Morral||150lb Football||Robert Pell*||Lacrosse|
|Kenny Paul||Soccer||Gordon Perry*||Tennis/Squash|
|Rick Porterfield||Football||Mark Shickner||Football|
|Tom Schüler*||Wrestling||Andy Tolk*||Wrestling|
|George Voelker*||Baseball||Dan Weaver||Football|
Each of these Classmates represent the absolute best of athletic achievement in their respective sports. In keeping with the request to limit all Class nominations to between 5-9 nominees, the Class of 1972 is proud and honored to nominate the following Classmates for “The Class of 1965; Navy Sports Legends Exhibit:
USNA ’72 Wrestling Squad
The USNA Wrestling Program has had a storied career with many great wrestlers and great teams. The Class of 1972, led by legendary Coach Ed Peery, stands out as one to be mentioned with the best.
Led by 2X All Americans Lloyd “Butch” Keaser ( placing 3rd & 4th) and Tom Schuler (placing 2nd & 4th) and multiple year letter winners, they posted very impressive results. Beyond Keaser and Schuler, who were themselves 3 time Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association ( EIWA) Champions, Andy Tolk was a 2 time EIWA Champion and Chick Giambastiani and Tom Jones were EIWA place winners over 3 years.
Four of these classmates broke into the varsity line up as Youngsters and one started varsity as a 2nd Class. This group of 5 USNA Classmates accounted for 14 N* (in a time when plebes could not wrestle varsity), 8 individual EIWA Championship titles and 2 EIWA team titles (and one 2nd place), all in addition to the 4 All American titles mentioned above.
The Naval Academy has only had six 3X EIWA Individual Champions, and the Class of ’72 had two of this six – 33%.
The Class has one (1) member, Butch Keaser, in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and two (2) members in the EIWA Hall of Fame, Keaser and Tom Schuler.
During the 3 years of their Varsity wrestling contributions, the Class of 1972 saw their teams place 10th and 9th in the nation in 1971 and 1972. The combined dual meet win/loss record for their 3 varsity years was 35 – 6 – 2 for a 82% winning percentage. All in a all, a wrestling Class that should be remembered.
Lloyd “Butch” Keaser Wrestling
Some might have differing opinions on what might be considered more significant: Going undefeated against Army for 4 years…or serving as a US Marine…or winning a World Championship and Silver Medal in the Olympics. Lloyd “Butch Keaser has all of these plus much more on his resume and the the Class of 1972 is honored and proud to promote him as one of the greatest “Sports Legends” ever to emerge from USNA
Wrestling was his game and his achievements, both on and off the mat are equal to none.
- 1969 Beat Army
- 1970 Beat Army; Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Champion 1971 Beat Army; EIWA Champion; NCAA Championships 4th Pl; All-American
- 1972 Beat Army; EIWA Champion; NCAA Championships 3rd Pl; All-American; USNA Thompson and NAAA Sword Awardee; Commissioned 2nd LT, USMC; Alternate on U.S. Olympic Team
- 1973 Gold Medalist Freestyle Wrestling World Champion; U.S. Amateur Wrestling Man of the Year
- 1974 World Military Games (CISM) Champion
- 1975 Pan American Games Champion
- 1976 Silver Medalist at Olympics in Montreal
- 1996 Inducted into the National Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Throughout Lloyd’s military and civilian careers and beyond, he coached at the Academy, at the high school level, and at clinics and camps with exemplary results. He was a cherished motivational speaker and was honored by his hometown naming
The Lloyd W. Keaser Community Center on whose Board of Directors he currently serves.
Lloyd was the first African-American in the history of amateur wrestling to win a Gold Medal in a World Wrestling Championship and the first African-American wrestler to win an Olympic Medal. He was also a Sullivan Award recipient (top amateur athlete in the U.S.) recepient twice and won three National Titles.
Roger Staubach, David Robinson, Lloyd Keaser…all SUPERSTAR SPORTS LEGENDS.
Tom Schuler Wrestling
Tom Schuler was a three-time Eastern Intercollegiate (EIWA) wrestling champion (1970, 1971, 1972), two-time All American (1971 and 1972), placed 2nd in the NCAA Championships (1971), and was a member of the US Olympic Team in Montreal in 1976. Butch Keaser and Tom Schuler were the winningest wrestlers on the team, with Tom Jones (72) and Andy Tolk (72) right behind them.
Tom came to the Naval Academy from Babylon, Long Island. During his summers there, he and his brother would did for clams in the Great South Bay every day. He began wrestling in junior high, finding it an outlet for his aggressive inner self. He went to the Naval Academy Prep School in Bainbridge, Maryland before arriving in Annapolis in June 1968.
Tom wrestled in the 118-pound weight class, although his natural body weight was closer to 135 pounds. That is why he was often seen running the passageways of Bancroft Hall wrapped in plastic garbage bags, chowing down on a 5-ounce can of Starkist tuna for dinner, or spitting off that 1/4 pound of weight in the sink prior to weigh-ins. He respected, but kept in perspective the rigors of Academy life. He excelled in his oceanography courses in which he majored.
Tom was a natural-born leader, earning the rank of the 10th Company Commander at USNA during his first class year. Upon graduating, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps, serving at home and overseas for five years.
Tom remains actively involved with Navy wrestling.
Dan Weaver “Comeback” Athlete, Football and Baseball
Dan was a wide receiver and kick returner on the Plebe football team in the fall of 1968. That winter, he was a sprinter and long jumper for the Plebe indoor track team. In the Spring, he earned the starting center fielder for the Plebe baseball team. As a “Youngster,” Dan earned the starting position of defensive cornerback and punter to start the 1969 football season and as quoted from Coach Rick Forzano, “one of Navy’s best football players.” However, In his third game, against Texas, he suffered a catastrophic tear of all his right knee ligaments and cartilage.
Back then, this type of knee injury usually meant the end of an athlete’s career for any sport not to mention whether he could be physically disqualified to continue as a Midshipman. With the tremendous encouragement of Navy Baseball Coach Joe Duff and the rehabilitation regimen created by Navy Athletic Trainer Leon “Red” Romo, Dan was able to strengthen his leg muscles to compensate for the ligament instability in his right knee and begin to participate in drills with the varsity baseball team.
By the start of Navy’s 1971 Spring baseball season, Dan had earned a starting position in center field. While playing at the University of Jacksonville, Dan injured his back and neck while crashing into the outfield fence diving for a fly ball. While this injury limited his playing time during the remainder of the season, by the start of the Fall baseball season in 1971 and continuing into 1972, Dan again earned the start at center field.
Dan helped the 1972 Navy squad to a winning season, earned his N-Star playing in his last game against Army on June 5th, 1972. Dan earned the Dean’s List and Superintendent’s List honors as a midshipman and graduated in the top 5th of the class.
Dan’s athletic career at Navy, while interrupted and diminished by injury, his determination to persevere and overcome despite these obstacles and compete at the college varsity level demonstrated his “never give up“ attitude and makes him worthy of being included as one of the “Sports Legends” of the Class of 1972.
Mark Schickner Football, 1970 Army-Navy Hero
Mark is remembered by his Classmates in 10th Company as “the best natural athlete they had ever known.” In addition to being the 10th Company Commander, Mark played three sports at the Varsity level at USNA, lettering in football, basketball and lacrosse. But his unbelievable performance in the 1970 Army-Navy football game, the “100th Game” of our storied rivalry, is his “claim to fame!”
Having lost to Army in football our Plebe and Youngster years, our class was desperate for a victory over Army. Coming into the game on November 28, 1970, we were an 11 point underdog with a record of 1 win and 9 losses. The opening coin flip for the game saw a bikini clad gal run onto the field and kiss the team Captains as more than 95,000 in attendance at John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia and millions more on TV watched.
“Schick,” now a junior defensive back, had not played football as a sophomore, but as can be the case in every Army-Navy game, he was destined to emerge from the ranks and secure a historic place in the Army-Navy game record books. “Before the game, our coach, Rick Forzano, told our defense, ‘We have to come up with four interceptions today to win the game,’” Schickner recalled. After the game he said, ‘I didn’t think one guy would get ‘em all, but he did.’” Schick tied the Navy record and his last interception came at the Navy 12-yard line with less than a minute to play, preserving an 11-7 victory!
It just so happens that the 1970 Victory over Army was our Class’s only such victory and that is why for the Class of 1972, Mark Schickner is a “Sports Legend!”
Navy lacrosse holds a special place in varsity sports at USNA, sporting the highest winning tradition among the 33 varsity sports. The Class is rightfully proud of our Classmate’s contribution to maintaining and continuing this winning legacy. Lacrosse players from the Class of 1972 ensured that the final years of a truly great and memorable coach, Willis “Bildy” Bilderback’s storied career finished on a high note.
Led by 2X All Americans Bobby Pell, Atttack, and Patrick Lee, Midfield (1971 & 1972) and All Americans Michael (Denny) Supko, Midfield, and Steve Soroko, Goal Tender (1972), Navy’s dominance in Lacrosse was ensured.
- 1970 USIL Tri-National Champions – record 8 & 1
- 1971 Advanced to the semifinals of the inaugural NCAA Tournament – record 10 & 2
- 1972 Earned NCAA Tournament berth but fell in a double overtime upset to Cortland State 10-9
Bob Pell Lacrosse Attack
From a young age, all Bob Pell ever wanted to do was play Navy Lacrosse! Well, his dream came true and he first gained lacrosse visibility at USNA as a Plebe by scoring 6 goals against Bullis Prep. He continued to excel on the field as an upperclassman earning 3rd Team All American honors in 1971 and 1972. His accomplishments on the field of play are enshrined in the Navy Athletic Hall of Fame and Navy Lacrosse record books:
- 101 points scored in varsity play. Only 33 USNA lacrosse players have scored 100 points or more and of those 33 only 5 scored 100+ points in 3 years.
- Ranks #7 all time in shots on goal – Tied for 19th in goals with 75
- Ranks #2 in single season shots on goal
- Tied for #20 with 31 goals in a single season
As a Midshipman, Bob Pell was very “Spirit-oriented!” He was an enthusiastic participant/leader in pep rallies, Beat Army projects and other morale-building endeavors, oftentimes as a cheerleader, but occasionally as a prankster.Bob also had a talent for identifying underclassmen and fellow athletes who needed a helping hand – some positive reinforcement or meaningful guidance and his engaging personality put them at ease, allowing his mentoring to take effect without fanfare. Bob faithfully served as the 29th Company Honor Representative, carrying out that responsibility with seriousness and aplomb. Bob Pell never gave up, he was always out front imbuing a desire in others to pursue success.
George Voelker Baseball
A member of the Naval Academy Athletic Hall of fame, George was a Baltimore bred first baseman who longed for an N* in Baseball. He earned the start at first base as a Youngster (remember, Plebes did not play varsity during our time at USNA) but due to an injury, he did not qualify for a letter in 1970 our Youngster Year. Regardless, in George’s three years of Varsity Baseball and Plebe Year as well, he never lost to Army and earned 2 N*.
George batted 2nd in the batting order and in Second Class Year (1971) he was Navy’s Batting Champion, hitting .340 overall and .365 in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) and was named 2nd Team all East his Second and First Class Year (1971 & 1972).
George is also a member of a very small and esteemed group of Naval Academy athletes, being named a 2nd Team Academic Team All American in 1971. The criteria for this award consists of a student-athlete being at least a sophomore, earning a varsity letter in their sport and having attained a minimum 3.30 cumulative grade-point average. Nominees are first voted on by district and then by a national ballot from which the Academic All-America teams are selected. Naval Academy student-athletes have totaled 145 Academic All-Americans over the years, with only 35 having earned Academic All-America honors prior to the 1999—2000 academic year.
While being fierce competitor on the baseball diamond, George was very challenged to meet the swimming requirements required of all Midshipman and he spent many early morning hours determinedly thrashing about in the instruction pool (often overseen and encouraged by Coach Duff) to meet the swimming goals.
He majored in Ocean Engineering and repeatedly earned himself “Stars” on the Superintendent’s and Dean’s List respectively. First Class Year, George’s performance of military duties, athletic dedication, and academic excellence earned him the position of 28th Company Commander.
Upon graduation and commissioning as an Ensign he graduated from Nuclear Power School and completed an extremely successful career in the Navy, retiring at the rank of Rear Admiral.
John “Jocko” Worthington Gymnastics
Classmates recall that “Jocko was a company leader from day one of our Plebe Year”…and …”he was mature beyond his years.” As written in the Lucky Bag, Jocko seemed to have “the ideal combination of polish and athletics and just enough brains thrown in to make the grades.” In the Hall, “If you had a problem, you took it to Jocko. If you needed advice, you went to Jocko.”
As a member of the Naval Academy Athletic Hall of Fame, his achievements in gymnastics were second to none:
- 1970 Beat Army (again, remember back in our time, Plebes did not compete in Varsity contests)
- 1971 Beat Army, Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Side Horse Champion
- 1972 Beat Army, ECAC Side Horse Champion
To top it all off, Jocko’s hard work and dedication paid large dividends as he was named the Brigade Commander for the Third and Honor Set in First Class Year.
Kenny Paul Soccer
Kenny was a member of 4th Company, hailing from Milford, Connecticut. He was Captain of our Plebe Soccer Team (remember, during our time in school, Plebes could not play Varsity) and then was one of four members of our Class to earn his Varsity Letter in 1969. He was a 3 year starter and Navy’s regular season record was 29-3 with 3 ties! As Ken humbly remarks, “I was fortunate to play in 3 NCAA National Tournaments.”
Teammates describe Kenny as a strong, yet soft spoken leader of their team who as team captain in 1971, led the team to the NCAA Semifinals. He was well known for his
determined and spirited style play which we fervently believe resulted in Navy never losing to Army in soccer in our four years at USNA.
- 1969 Earned first Varsity Letter. Army Tie 0-0
- 1970 Beat Army 2-0, earning N*, Advanced to NCAA Tournament 2nd Round
- 1971 Beat Army 2-1, earning N*, Advanced to NCAA Tournament 2nd Round (losing to Howard University who prevailed as the National Champions with a perfect 15-0 record)
- 1971 Navy ranked #10 in end of year ISCA National Coaches Poll
- First Class Year, Ken’s performance of military duties, athletic dedication, and academic excellence earned him the position of First Battalion Commander for the 2nd/Winter set
I had the honor of visiting the Terwilliger Center for Student Athletes during the last week of August. Let me tell you, it is very impressive, and I most strongly recommend that you and your family make every effort to visit the Center the next time you are in Annapolis.
The Navy Sports Legends Exhibit consists of four very large, vertically mounted, high-definition monitors. All you need to do is “touch” the name of an athlete and their pictures appear with detailed comments and a description of their athletic careers at USNA. (Although the NAAA was still uploading the information when I visited, I was assured they were on track to have everything uploaded by 11 September.)
We should all be very proud of our Class of 1972 Sports Legends and I hope that you will soon be able to visit USNA and the Terwilliger Center for Student Athletes in Ricketts Hall. We also owe a note of thanks to Chet Gladchuk for having the foresight and wherewithal to initiate this project and see it through to completion. Thanks also to those of you who nominated Classmates for this noteworthy and perpetual recognition.
Tried and True with ’72.
President, USNA Class of 1972