Two Great Teams

Robert Dunkelberger
Bloomsburg University Archivist

Headline from the November 14, 1959 issue
of the Maroon & Gold


Following the departure of Robert Redman in 1952 the head coaching reigns at Bloomsburg were handed over to Jack Yohe. He ably coached for five years, and won the State Teachers College championship in 1955. It would unfortunately be the school's last title until a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Eastern Division crown in 1984. Yohe was followed by Walter Blair, who was responsible for one of the biggest upsets in school history on November 7, 1959, versus West Chester. The Golden Rams had won 15 consecutive games by an average score of 46 to 4, and had not lost a conference game since losing to the Huskies in 1955. But on that day Bloomsburg, after falling behind 10-0 at half-time, came back and won 13-10 on a one yard run by quarterback Richard Rohrer in the fourth quarter. It was one of the most emotional and satisfying victories in school history, with the fans pouring onto the field afterwards to congratulate the players.

Russell Houk took over in 1964 and had one of the most exciting teams in school history, the 1967 squad that went 6-3. Unlike Redman’s running teams this one’s success rested on the passing arm of quarterback Rich Lichtel. He threw for 2771 yards, averaging nearly 308 per contest with 26 touchdowns, and twice passed for five in one game. His favorite target was tight end Bob Tucker, who shattered school records with 77 receptions, 13 of which went for touchdowns, and 1325 receiving yards. He caught four touchdowns passes against Millersville, a feat that was duplicated versus Shippensburg by the other talented end, Stan Kucharski.
The Big Three from the 1967 team (L to R):
Bob Tucker, Rich Lichtel, Stan Kucharski
In just three games Kucharski caught 28 passes for 485 yards and 10 touchdowns, with 64 total points, all of which led the nation at the time. But an injury to his left knee on the first play of game number four with Susquehanna ended his season and career at Bloomsburg.  Injuries took their toll on the team, which was a major factor in the three losses. Lichtel played the last five games with a broken thumb on his passing hand, and Tucker the last three with a bad back. But even so this team established 32 school records, and went down as one of the most memorable to have played for Bloomsburg.

The Huskies would match those six wins only once in the next 17 years, going 6-4 in 1978, and by the 1980 and 1981 seasons the team managed only one victory total.  The real turn-around in the program began in 1984 under third-year coach George Landis when Bloomsburg went 6-5 with their first PSAC Eastern Division championship.  The most dramatic game and single play during this championship season was at West Chester when quarterback Jay Dedea threw a 50 yard touchdown pass to Curtis Still on the final play of the game to give the Huskies a 34-31 victory.  Watching that play from the Golden Rams' sideline was their first-year head coach and future Husky coach Danny Hale.

Coach George Landis and QB Jay Dedea
celebrating the win over Indiana
The following season completed the comeback when the 1985 team won the PSAC title outright and the most games in school history with twelve. The Huskies marched through the regular season at 10-0, which included a 49-14 victory over Lock Haven and an Eastern Division clinching 8-6 conquest of West Chester.

The PSAC championship game was held on November 23 in Redman Stadium, with the Huskies facing Indiana (PA), who was coached by 1958 Bloomsburg graduate George Chaump. The Husky defense picked off five passes and limited Indiana (PA) to three field goals in a 31-9 victory. Bloomsburg was ranked number three in the country, and for the first time made the NCAA Division II play-offs.


Their first game was against the Hampton (VA) Pirates, and Bloomsburg came back to win with three fourth quarter touchdowns for a 38-28 victory.  After twelve consecutive wins arguably the greatest season in school history ended with a 34-0 loss to North Alabama on their home field.  But it was a year that will never be forgotten.  Team leaders were quarterbacks Jay DeDea and Mike Glovas, who combined for 2154 yards passing and 18 touchdowns, and running back Tom Martin with 1017 yards rushing, 10 rushing touchdowns, and 68 total points. The defense forced an incredible 53 turnovers, and was led by All-American linebacker Frank Sheptock with 159 tackles, and defensive backs Tony Woods and Randy Bullock who had 19 interceptions between them.

Following the landmark 1985 season George Landis left to coach football at Bucknell, and although the Huskies had several more decent years the magic of that year could not be recaptured.  By 1992 the program had only a single victory and had unfortunately returned to the level of just over a decade before.  A spark was needed to reignite the proud tradition of Husky football, and Bloomsburg found that spark in the person of Danny Hale.

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