Alan Haller endorsed by Spartans from national championship teams

Alan Haller endorsed by Spartans from national championship teams

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By TOM SHANAHAN

Michigan State players from the head coach Duffy Daugherty’s 1965 and 1966 national championship teams that won back-to-back unbeaten Big Ten titles endorse Alan Haller as the school’s next athletic director. Daugherty’s 1960s teams led college football integration with its first fully integrated rosters.

He combined a Midwest-based roster with African-Americans recruited from the segregated South and players on his Hawaiian Pipeline. The teams with players escaping segregation were referred to as the Underground Railroad, a reverent nod to Harriet Tubman.

PLAYERS ON THE VIDEO

Jimmy Raye, Fayetteville, N.C.: The South’s first Black quarterback to win a national title, Michigan State Hall of Fame, pioneering Black coach (hired by Duffy Daugherty) in college and the NFL.

Clinton Jones, Cleveland, Ohio: College Football Hall of Fame as running back, Track and Field All-American, Michigan State Hall of Fame, sixth in the 1966 Heisman Trophy voting, NFL veteran.

Pat Gallinagh, Detroit, Michigan: Academic All-American defensive tackle. unofficial Spartan Poet Laurette, career teacher and football coach, Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame.

Bob Apisa, Honolulu, Hawaii: College football’s first Samoan All-American as a fullback, Polynesian Football Hall of Fame, Michigan State Hall of Fame. As a member of Duffy Daugherty’s Hawaiian Pipeline, his All-American selection launched the wave of Polynesian talent that permeates football at all levels.

— Jerry West, Durand, Michigan. The “other” Jerry West was an All-American offensive tackle that led the Spartans’ record-breaking rushing game.

Ernie Pasteur, Beaufort, N.C. Injuries limited his playing career, but he went on to earn three MSU degrees as a career educator, including a high school principal in Grand Rapids.

Sterling Armstrong, Detroit, Michigan: Starting cornerback and long-time career educator in the Lansing Public School District.

Jim Proebstle, Canton, Ohio. Starting tight end and younger brother of Dick Proebstle, an MSU quarterback. Jim is the author of three books, including “Unintended Impact,” the story of his brother’s struggle and eventual death from CTE.

Michigan State players that have passed away that Clint Jones mentioned included Bubba Smith, College Football Hall of Famer, George Webster, College Football Hall of Famer, Charlie Thornhill, All-Big Ten linebacker and Charlie Wedemeyer, another Hawaiian Pipeline member joining Apisa in the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame with his January induction.

Smith, Webster and Thornhill were among the 44 players Duffy Daugherty recruited from the segregated South between 1959 and 1972. Those 1960s teams led college football integration with its first fully integrated rosters. Raye, Smith, Webster, Thornhill and Pasteur were all members of Daugherty’s Underground Railroad teams escaping segregation in the South.

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Click here for more videos on history on Michigan State’s pioneering 1960s teams.

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