Archive For The “Fred Dunlap” Category
Sometimes, the lawnmower engine you’ve pull-started five times finally gets up and running after the sixth time you’ve pulled the recoil starter handle – the gas igniting, the smoke billowing, the engine humming.
And other times, after you pull the recoil starter handle, you hear the parts stirring, something in there wanting to fire, but it doesn’t. Something’s amiss – some debris, something out of tune – but the upshot is, ignition doesn’t happen.
This is the place where Lehigh football is right now.
The lawnmower that is Lehigh football has ignited – a little. The engine has had power, and created a whole lot of smoke. But in the end, each time the system has returned to rest, unable to use the power to get the job done and achieve a single victory. Things are out of tune.
It’s not ideal to have to be in a must-ignite moment against, historically, the second-biggest rival on the football schedule, the team against whom so many epic battles have occurred for the Mountain Hawks – many of them which helped determine the Patriot League Championship and FCS Playoff autobid.
And yet, here we are, with the recoil starter handle in hand, hoping that this time, the sixth time, everything is tuned correctly and everything starts firing all at the right time.
(Photo Credits: Lehigh Valley Live)
The word cloud around the Lehigh Colgate game the last decade has almost always involved the words “tundra”, “cold”, and “November”.
So when the 2016 schedule was released, and Lehigh fans read “October 8th: Colgate”, many were disappointed, even as they still circled the game on their calendar with a maroon Sharpie.
They were probably thinking back to last season, when, in the second weekend in November on a prototypical Lehigh/Colgate chilly afternoon with a chance of snow showers, the Mountain Hawks and Raiders were battling, essentially, for a Patriot League championship, ending up five yards short of a game-tying touchdown.
But now, in what seems like a better move by the minute, the moving up of a critical conference game that has very often determined the eventual winner of the League seems terrific for not only both schools, but the entire Patriot League.
That’s because, in a week that doesn’t feature many great FCS this week, the rivalry (with a little r) with Colgate will be the most entertaining, emotionally-fought game on the entire FCS slate. If there is one FCS game that will deliver some of the same emotions that Texas/Oklahoma will in the midwest this weekend, Colgate/Lehigh is that game.
Head coach Fred Dunlap‘s first season at the head of the Engineers wasn’t going very well in 1965.
“Lehigh has impressed me very much,” Dunlap was quoted as saying in The Brown and White. “They’re very warm people with a very healthy attitude in that they think very positively in competing with schools and teams in our league.”
“Here you can easily get the team up for a big game, while at Cornell where you’re dealing with bigger numbers and play the big school, the team is hurt by playing week after week of big games.”
Nowhere, I think, was Mr. Dunlap’s ability to grab the positive from a negative situation more on display than with the 1965 team.
Three times, against Cornell, Delaware and Bucknell, Lehigh would give up more than 40 points a game. Loss after loss mounted, going into the final weekend of the season and the game against their hated Rival to go.
But Mr. Dunlap always had a way of being positive in the middle of a gloomy 0-8 season. And on the final game of the season, it paid off with his first head coaching victory and being carried off on the shoulders of his players.
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A year ago, two Patriot League schools accustomed to competing for championships instead were merely competing for pride.
Colgate and Lehigh used to circle each others’ names on the calendar back in February. That’s because more often than not, the outcome of that game had been critical in determining the Patriot League championship, the status of an autobid to the FCS playoffs, or both.
Last season, though, for the first time in a long time, there were no championship or postseason implications on the line.
On Saturday, for both the Mountain Hawks and Raiders, the “good old days” will be back.
In February, with both schools coming off of uncharacteristic under-.500 records, it was not intrinsically obvious that the game on November 10 in Hamilton, New York would once again have a championship on the line.
Yet here we are, with snow somewhere in the forecast, and a game with a 1:00 PM kickoff, with a likely on-field temperature of a brisk 37 degrees,
It’s what Lehigh football fans and Colgate fans live for.
Lehigh head football coach John Whitehead knew Colgate head football coach Fred Dunlap well. Very well, in fact. Whitehead, the offensive coordinator for the 1973 Lambert Cup-winning Lehigh squad, was the architect of Lehigh's "Wing-T"…