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Podcast series, Growing Green: A Football Family

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Growing Green: A Football Family is a 19-part series on Michigan State football from Biggie Munn and Duffy Daugherty through Mark Dantonio and now head coach Mel Tucker.

The episodes air at 4:30 p.m. ET each Thursday on The Drive with Jack, mid-Michigan’s sports talk show hosted by Jack Ebling. Con Demos and I join Jack each week with our historical perspective from our books.

August 4Click here for Episode 4. Michigan State’s early Big Ten history includes the coaching transition from Biggie Munn to Duffy Daugherty. Wayne Benson was a star fullback/halfback for the Spartans on Biggie Munn’s 1950 and 1951 teams when Daugherty was the line coach. As athletic director, Munn emphasized having an all-around athletic program.

— July 29: Click here for Episode 3.  Clarence “Biggie” Munn was hired by John Hannah to build a national football power, and the prestige helped the Spartans gained Big Ten admission. Munn was 54-9-2 in seven years with a national title in 1951 and a 1954 Rose Bowl victory. He served as athletic director and handed the football reins to his top assistant, Duffy Daugherty.

— July 21: Click here for Episode 2. John Hannah’s legacy for the university and athletics program with guests Ernest Green, a Civil Rights leader and the first graduate among the 1957 Little Rock Nine, and LouAnn K. Simon, a former Michigan State president.

— July 14: Click here for the first episode. The 1966 Game of the Century with guests Michigan State All-American fullback Bob Apisa and Notre Dame All-American center and NFL veteran George Goeddeke, a native Detroiter.


Our goal is to expand knowledge of Michigan State’s great history from John Hannah to the days of Biggie Munn and Duffy Daugherty years to the current state of the program under Mark Dantonio and now Mel Tucker. MSU fans, especially younger ones, are largely unaware of MSU winning national titles while leading college football integration alongside the Civil Rights movement. One reason has been the number of MSU outsiders in administration and the football office from the 1970s forward. They failed to understand and celebrate the history.

Daugherty was not a self-promotor, and his leadership in the 1960s went unrecognized in the media in an era when race wasn’t discussed on the sports pages. Consequently, myths and fiction crafted two decades after the 1970 USC-Alabama game was played filled the vacuum. The misleading tales overtook college football lore. They were promoted in in books and films on national networks at the expense of the true 1960s pioneers.

Michigan State’s role has been unfairly overshadowed while remaining unappreciated and misunderstood. Listen here and read Raye of Light for the true story.

Purchase Raye of Light from August Publications here.


Click here for the TV announcement (July 10) of the series on Jack’s TV show, Press Pass on Con and I appear with Jack in the segment with 19:10 remaining in the show.



By Con Demos

RAYE of LIGHT by Tom Shanahan

Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans and the integration of college football

By Tom Shanahan. Foreword by Tony Dungy.

Click here to purchase Raye of Light from August Publications.

My upcoming book with purchase information to be announced soon.


Duffy and the True 1960s Pioneers, North and South

By Tom Shanahan. Foreword by Ruffin McNeill. Prologue by Mel Tucker

For more on Michigan State history click here for Duffy Daugherty’s Milestone Minutes and click here for The End Game.


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