For all but a few, basketball is the sport that comes to mind when mentioning Marquette University. Marquette enjoyed quite a run under Al McGuire from 1964 to 1977, including winning the NCAA championship in his siren song season. Unfortunately, like many other schools, Marquette now appears in the NCAA tournament every other year without notable success, so let's forget about basketball and look back to the days when Marquette played big-time football.
Marquette played football for the first time in 1892 and, by the late 1920s, performed well against a national but Midwestern-heavy schedule. The Hilltoppers gained an invite to the inaugural Cotton Bowl in 1937, losing to Slingin' Sammy Baugh and his fellow Horned Frogs, but had only four more winning seasons before the school dropped football after the 1960 season.
The two players best known for their football accomplishments were LaVern Dilweg and George Andrie. Dilweg made the NFL's All-1920s team, leading many to wonder why he is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Andrie, on the other hand, was a junior during Marquette's last football season and was drafted by the Cowboys despite not playing his senior season. An eleven-year career and five Pro Bowls indicate it was a smart pick.
However, the best-known former Marquette football player is likely Pat O'Brien. After spending the war at Great Lakes Naval Station, Pat O'Brien played football at Marquette in 1920. While O'Brien was a moderately successful athlete at Marquette, the pinnacle of his athletic career came twenty years later when portraying Knute Rockne in Knute Rockne, All American.
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