By Katharine Buckley McNamara '81
defeat and the occasional bout of hepatitis. Since 1843,
athletics have been an integral part of the Holy Cross experience.
Relive your favorite sports memories or discover what you
didn’t know about teams and athletes, past and present.
1859: One of the College's first athletic organizations,
the Mount St. James Fencing Club, is established. It
promises to give its members "favorable opportunities
for acquiring a practical as well as a theoretical knowledge
of the sword and its uses."
1862: The College prospectus reports on student
sporting activities including
bathing in the Blackstone
River and "Foot-ball and Cricket games" on the College Farm.
1869: Students begin
playing athletic games on field near St. John's Cemetery in Worcester,
called "Camp Scott" during Civil War.
June 1874: Fr. O'Hagan extends permission for the College baseball club
to play outside of Worcester.
First away baseball game played in Clinton, Mass.
1874: First gymnasium
set up "south of building."
June 10, 1876: First formal intercollegiate baseball game against Brown
1880: Campus competitions include wheelbarrow races and the tug-of-war
1886: First undefeated
1891: Fr. John Collins
proposes a football association.
1892: Tennis introduced.
May 30, 1893: Baseball
field ("Carlin Field") dedicated on the current site of Alumni and Carlin Halls.
First game played on Alumni Field against Georgetown.
1895: First swimming
tank and indoor track built in O'Kane Hall.
1898: Basketball introduced.
May 20, 1905: Fitton
Field dedicated; opening game against Yale.
1914: Baseball posts
a 16-5 season, wins first Eastern championship.
May 30, 1918: Wilfred
Ryan '20 throws the College's first no-hitter, defeating Dartmouth 4-0 at Fitton
Feb 1925: College golfers
Baseball Champs. Owen Carroll '25 pitches to a 6-1 win over NYU and finishes
his career with a 50-2 record. Team sets a school record: 27-game winning streak
that began in 1923. Villanova finally snaps the record on April
Oct. 6, 1925: Name "Crusaders" voted on by athletes, student body.
Oct. 1925: Football team beats Harvard for first time after 20 years
Jan. 1926: HC team clips
world record time for 1600-Meter Relay - HC record 3 min, 24 4/5 sec.
Jan. 1928: Hockey team
plays first game vs. Springfield College.
1928: James Quinn '28 wins Gold Medal in 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam
for 440 relay team.
1929: Cleo O'Donnell '08 named first full-time director of athletics.
Feb. 1931: Varsity hockey
Oct. 1931: Basketball
Fall, 1934: First time
in College's history football team beats Harvard, Brown and Boston College in
a single season.
April 15, 1935: Baseball
game against Boston Braves. Babe Ruth plays.
Fall, 1935: First undefeated football season.
Sept. 17, 1938: Willie Turnesa '38 wins 42nd annual US Amateur Golf
April 14, 1939: Ted Williams hits his first home run in Massachusetts
at Fitton Field.
Nov. 28, 1942: Football team defeats top-ranked
and undefeated Boston College, 55-12, in one of the
greatest upsets in college football history. Following
the game, a celebration at the Coconut Grove nightclub
turns tragic when fire breaks out killing 491 people.
March 16, 1943: Baseball season cancelled due to war.
April 30, 1945: First no-hit, no-run game in
25 years pitched by Jack Tivnan '48.
Jan. 1, 1946: Football team of 1945 plays in Orange
Bowl - first Crusader
team to enter a bowl game loses when Miami scores a touchdown in the last seconds
of the game.
1947: Field House built.
March 25, 1947: Basketball
team wins NCAA National Championship. First New England
team to do so.
March 1947: George Kaftan '49 becomes the College's
Dec. 1949: Swim team
Mar. 23, 1950: Bob Cousy '50 named nation's
outstanding player by National Basketball Writers of
May 14, 1952: Baseball coach Jack Barry has
500th winning game.
June 17, 1952: Baseball team wins National Championship
in Omaha; First Eastern squad to win.
March 1954: Holy Cross defeats Duquesne to win
the NIT crown.
Jan. 21, 1956: Hall of Fame inaugurated at Varsity Club Dinner. First
six members are Sockalexis, Barry, Cousy, Turnesa, Osmanski, and Kelly.
Fall, 1958: Lacrosse becomes varsity sport.
March 1960: Jack Foley '62
sets new single basketball game record with 55 points
as HC beats Colgate 101-78.
March 1961: HC beats Detroit Titans in NIT tourney
and faces Providence in semifinals (but loses to end
up with 3rd place in tourney).
March 1962: HC to 3rd straight NIT, makes it
to quarterfinals and loses to St. John's.
April 5, 1962: Rugby team inaugurated.
April 1962: Basketball team in NIT Playoffs.
1963: Wrestling team organized.
1965: Paul Harney '52 wins his second consecutive Los Angeles Open golf
Oct. 1969: Outbreak of hepatitis among football team forces cancellation
1974: Field hockey and basketball debut as the
College's first women's sports.
Jan 15, 1976: Hart Center dedicated.
March 6, 1977: Basketball team ECAC champs.
March 9, 1979: Men's basketball team in NIT
Tournament, loses to Dayton.
Jan. 26, 1980: Ronnie Perry '80 scores his 2,186 point to break record
set by Jack "the Shot" Foley '62.
March 1980: Men's basketball team falls to Iona
in NCAA Tournament. Ron Perry ends college basketball
career as New England all-time leading scorer with
Fall 1980: HC Women's basketball moves from
Division III to Division II.
March 1981: Callie Taffe '81 is named All-American swimmer and becomes
first woman "Crusader of the Year."
Fall 1982: HC Women's Basketball moves from Division II to Division
Jan. 16, 1983: Hart Center pool and addition opened.
Dec. 1983: Football team wins Lambert Cup in Div. I-AA.
Jan 22, 1984: Sherry Levin '84 becomes first Holy Cross women's basketball
player to score 2000 points.
1983-84: College joins Metro-Atlantic conference (MAAC).
Feb. 13, 1987: Football series with Boston College terminated.
1987: Gordie Lockbaum '88 featured in Sports Illustrated. Finishes
3rd in Heisman Trophy voting, after finishing 5th in 1986.
1991: HC joins Patriot league.
1991: Football team finishes season 11-0; ranked
#3 in the nation.
1994: Rob Feaster '95 the Patriot League's all-time
Jan. 1996: Women's basketball breaks record for
consecutive home wins with its 15th win.
Jan. 11, 1997: Reinstatement of men's and women's basketball scholarships.
Mar. 1997: Kathy Courtney '97 makes first team GTE academic All-America
Nov. 1997: Ron Perry '54 retires as athletic director after 26 years.
Nov. 1997: HC
women's field hockey wins Patriot
League Tourney for first time.
1998-99: Men's hockey joins newly founded Division
I MAAC Hockey League; wins inaugural MAAC Tournament
Mar. 1998: Women's basketball wins Patriot League Championship.
Nov. 1998: Women's field hockey wins second straight Patriot League
Nov. 1999: Women's ice hockey becomes varsity sport.
March 8, 2000: Women's basketball team defeats Bucknell to win its
third consecutive Patriot League championship.
Sources: Thy Honored Name by Rev. Anthony J.
Kuzniewski, S.J.; The Holy Cross Archives; The office
of sports information; The Tomahawk: The Crusader;