Onondaga Historical Association Celebrates Syracuse University’s 1959 Football Season

Bridge Street

At halftime of the SU versus Clemson game, the surviving members of the 1959 Syracuse University football team will be honored by the team members coming out onto the field.

Robert Searing of the Onondaga Historical Association says that the honor is a special moment for the players and the Syracuse community as well.

“They’re bringing the gentlemen out onto the field. Hopefully we’ll have a sellout crowd. I’ll be in attendance as a proud season ticket holder,” he added.

Sixty years ago, Syracuse University won their first and only National Championship. The 1959 Syracuse University Football team, led by Coach Ben Schwartzwalder went 11-0, beating Texas in the Cotton Bowl en route to a unanimous selection as National Champion. Coming on the heels of several impressive seasons led by the great Jim Brown, the 59 team was among the most talented ever assembled. This included sophomore tailback Ernie Davis, who became the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy in 1961.

The ’59 championship team is still considered one of the best defenses in the history of college football. In addition to their on-field success, the 59 team was a model of racial integration and cooperation in an era where segregation was still legal in the American South and the civil rights movement was progressing rapidly.

Syracuse Versus Clemson is the biggest football game in the dome in years. For complete game week coverage, stay with News Channel 9 and Localsyr.com

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