Messenger - Vol. 3, No. 2, Page 14
Winter 1994
Alumni Profile - Developing the rules of the game

     Some people spend untold hours of research and large sums of money to
trace their family tree. Rocco J. "Rocky" Carzo, Delaware '54, '56M,
athletic director at Tufts University, is tracing the genealogy of
America's football coaches.
     With the cooperation of the American Football Coaches Association,
Carzo and a colleague, Donald S. Andrews of the University of Waterloo,
have identified several major branches of the coaching profession. The
investigators already have discovered significant achievements by
Delaware-connected coaches and alumni, particularly in the development of
the rules of the game.
     From Walter Camp, the acknowledged father of American football, a
direct link may be made to current Blue Hen Coach Tubby Raymond and to
several younger coaches who played for him. From Camp, the historical
sequence moves to the legendary Amos Alonzo Stagg, a Camp player who
coached at the College of the Pacific, and longtime Michigan coach Fritz
Crisler who played under Stagg. Crisler, in turn, coached Delaware's Dave
Nelson and Raymond, Big 10 coaches Forest Evashevski and Biggie Munn,
Harold Westerman of Maine and Bob Ingalls of Connecticut.
     Nelson produced coaches Carzo; Don Miller of Amherst, Delaware '55,
'57 MEd ; Mickey Heinecken of Middlebury, Delaware '61, '66 MEd ; and Mike
Lude, athletic director at Auburn University. From Raymond's player ranks
have come, among others, Jim Colbert, Delaware '72; former Delaware State
and James Madison coach Joe Purzycki, Delaware '71, `77 MEd; and current
Delaware State University coach Bill Collick, Delaware '75.
     Crisler, Nelson, Westerman, Lude, Raymond, Carzo and Collick all have
served on the Football Rules Committee.
     Though not from the Stagg branch of the football tree, the late
William D. Murray, Delaware's athletic director and football coach from
1940-1950, also held leadership positions in the sport. Following his
coaching career at Delaware and Duke, he became executive director of the
American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), serving as that
organization's top administrator until his retirement in 1982. His
abilities were formally recognized in 1974 when he was inducted into the
National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.
     Nelson, his Delaware successor, was appointed to the NCAA Rules
Committee in 1957 and, in 1962, he became secretary-editor of that body, a
position he was destined to hold longer than any prior appointee. In that
capacity, he helped develop rules to govern an increasingly complex game
that included the liberal substitution associated with two-platoon
football; a compulsory numbering system needed to differentiate down
linemen from eligible pass receivers; changes in blocking techniques that
emerged with increased emphasis on passing; and other changes affecting
one- and two-point conversions, width of the goal posts, equipment and
     Not only did Nelson help to bring order to the game through the
establishment of sensible rules, he helped to explain those rules to
players, coaches, officials and fans. For several years, his column devoted
to game situations and the application of appropriate rules appeared in
newspapers across the nation, and his definitive book, Illustrated Football
Rules, was released by Doubleday & Co. Inc., in 1976. It not only discussed
the major NCAA rules, but explained how they differed from those used in
high school and professional football.
     Nelson received the American Football Coaches Association
Distinguished American Award in 1984 and was inducted into the College
Football Hall of Fame in 1987. He received the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award in
1989 and, in that same year, was appointed the first full-time commissioner
of the expanding Yankee Conference. Known affectionately as "The Admiral,"
Nelson died in 1991.
     In his 28 years as head coach, Raymond has matched and, in some areas,
surpassed the accomplishments of his distinguished predecessors. His
winning record places him 16th on the all-time collegiate coaching list,
eighth among active coaches and third in the 1-AA ranks. He was elected to
the board of trustees of the AFCA in 1974, was chosen president of the
association in 1980 and became chairman of the rules committee in 1982.
     Much has been published in the last half century about the success of
Blue Hen football. But Delaware's prominence on the national scene extends
far beyond victories, records and championships. Delaware officials and
alumni have made significant and lasting contributions to the
administration and development of the game, a tradition that continues to
the present day.
                                          -Elbert Chance, Delaware '52, '59M