UNDEFEATED 1920 TEAM
On October 31, 1914 B.C. played its first home football game at Fenway against Norwich, a 28-6 victory for the Eagles. Led by Jimmy Fitzpatrick and Luke Urban, these teams were very strong, winning five games in 1914 by a
total score of 112-9. That year, they won two games at Fenway Park against Norwich and Catholic University (14-0). In 1915, Alumni Stadium was built on campus and Boston College thereby limiting it's games at Fenway to special games. In 1916 the powerful team went 6-2 with
four shutouts, beating arch rival Holy Cross at Fenway on a last period field goal, 17-14. Continuing in 1917, the dynamic team posted another 6-2 record with another four shutout victories. At Fenway Park, they overpowered cross town opponent Tufts, 20-0 and crushed Holy Cross
34-6. In 1919, returning war hero and future hall-of-famer, Frank Cavanaugh was hired as head coach and led his team to a major upset vs Yale. The annual rival game with Holy Cross at Fenway that year was a thrilling 9-7 victory for Cavanaugh's football squad. In 1920, B.C. went undefeated, beating Marietta College at Fenway Park with an exciting 13-3 bout, and winning the school's first "Eastern Championship".
Of the eight games, six teams were unable to score on them at all and only powerhouse Yale was able to score a touchdown.
UNDEFEATED 1928 TEAM
1928 saw Boston College returning to play games at Fenway Park en route to another undefeated season under future hall-of-fame coach Joe McKinney, quarterback Al Weston, Patrick Creeden, and All-American end Charlie Murphy. Except for the 6-0 win against
Navy, they breezed through all their opponents, winning by two touchdowns or more. From 1930 thru 1932 all of the Eagles' home games were played at Fenway Park. Even with star players Harry Downes, John Dixon and Al Ricci, the team could not take advantage of many opponents, posting
a mediocre team record in those years.
In 1936, under new coach, future hall-of-famer Gilmour Dobie, captain Tony DiNatale, running back Altilio Ferenzi and quarterback Fella Gintoff, B.C. upgraded their schedule and posted a 6-1-2 record. Highlights at Fenway Park included a 13-13 tie with Michigan State, a 7-3 win against North Carolina State as well as a 13-12 win over
rival Holy Cross. In 1937, the Eagles posted a disappointed 4-4-1 record, but in 1938 and 1939 under Charlie O'Rourke, Pete Cignetti, and Vito Ananis, the team bounced back, losing only one game each year going 6-1-2 in 1938 and 9-1 in 1939. In those two years the B.C. defense posted an incredible
nine shutouts. The 1939 Eagles became the first New England team to earn a New Year's Day bowl invitation, losing to Clemson in the Cotton Bowl.
UNDEFEATED 1940 TEAM
On their way to their greatest season in history, an undefeated 11-0, Sugar Bowl-winning season, Boston College won all six of the games they played at Fenway Park in 1940. In his second year at Boston College, coach Frank Leahy had a team of great
talent. Charlie O'Rourke was the quarterback and his backs included veterans Frank Maznicki, Lou Montgomery, and Captain Henry Toczylowski. They were joined by a talented newcomer named Mike Holovak. The team also had wonderful receivers including Henry Woronicz, Gene Goodreault, Ed Zabilski
and Don Currivan. The team was undefeated outscoring its opponents 320 to 52 and held six teams scoreless. Boston College impressed the sports community by defeating Tulane University (considered the second best team in the nation) 27 to 7 in the second week of the season. On November
16th B.C. handed undefeated Georgetown its first loss in a memorable 19-18 victory that Grantland Rice called "the greatest football game ever played." Then Boston College defeated Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl 19 to 13. The Eagles earned a number five ranking in the 1940 AP National Poll
and laid claim to the National Championship.
In 1941, led by All-American Frank "Monk" Maznicki, B.C. posted a 7-3 record with a classic comeback over Holy Cross to end the season. In 1942, they won their first eight games (with the defense allowing only 19 points total) at Fenway Park and entered another showdown against Holy Cross, with the
Crusaders crushing the Eagles in one of the biggest upsets in college football history by a 55-12 score, ending the Eagles' hopers for a national title. The game did include a significant silver lining however, as B.C. had planned a celebration at the Coconut Grove nightclub after the
game but cancelled their plans following the defeat. A fire at the Coconut Grove that evening killed 492 patrons and injured hundreds more in the second-worst single building fire in American history. From 1943-1945 a large number of Boston College coaches and players departed to serve their
country in World War II and the team, made of some returning veterans and 4Fs played a less difficult schedule, quite often against armed service club teams.
Boston College returned to play home games at Fenway Park in the fall of 1953. Though the Eagles were winless in their first three home games, they finished strong with victories over Wake Forest, the University of Detroit and Holy Cross. Their victory over
their rival from Worcester brought out a crowd of 37,000, a dramatic increase from most of BC's 1953 games at Fenway Park. In 1954 behind Frank Magnarelli, Eddie DeSilva and Jimmy Kane, Coach Mike Holovak's 8-1 Eagles, impressively posted their best record since 1942. In 1955 and
1956 the team finished the football season with 5 wins each year, but playing a fairly easy schedule. After losing to Holy Cross 7-0 to conclude the 1956 season.
In 1957 Tom Yawkey decided that Fenway Park would no longer be hosting football and would be used exclusively by the Red Sox (that decision was changed in 1963 for the Boston Patriots). In 1957, Boston College considered dropping football altogether,
but opted to build a new stadium on campus instead.
JIMMY "FITZ" FITZPATRICK (1916-1920) ... Fitz was a speedy half-back with multiple talents. He could pass left or right-handed, had a career punting average of sixty-five yards and possessed a long-range for his drop kick field goals. Fitzpatrick was
elected team captain in 1919, but when invited to be captain again in 1920 he modestly refused, allowing his friend Luke Urban to be unanimously chosen. His football career came to an end after his shoulder was broken in the November 1920 game against Georgetown. He was the team's
scoring leader in the 1916, 1917, and 1919 seasons. In 1921, Cavanaugh praised him as "the greatest athlete Boston College has ever had...I doubt that any has ever done more for his college in athletics than Fitzy has done for Boston College."
LUKE URBAN (1915-1919) ... Luke was the team's captain and a consensus first-team All-American. Though known mainly for playing football, Urban was also active on the baseball, basketball and hockey teams. He is one of only a handful of Boston College athletes to earn
varsity letters in four different sports. Coach Cavanaugh characterized Urban as the "most modest man I ever coached" and a psychology professor added that he was the "most unselfish man in the college." Urban played professional football with the Buffalo All-Americans, baseball
with the Boston Braves, and he coached football at Canisius College from 1921 to 1930.
AL WESTON (1926-1928) ... Al was considered one of the greatest running quarterbacks of his day. He was also captain of the baseball team. One of Weston's greatest football moments came in 1928 when ran in the game winning touchdown, and the game's only
points, in the 6 to 0 upset over Navy. He was the team's scoring leader in the 1926, 1927 and 1928 seasons. Weston would later play professional baseball with the Boston Braves.
WARREN MCGUIRK (1926-1928) ... Warren had one of his greatest sports moments come in the 1927 game against Holy Cross when he recovered the ball after a blocked punt and ran in the game-winning touchdown. He was captain of the undefeated 1928 football team and was
an All-East selection in his senior year. He became athletic director for the University of Mass. (1949-1972) whose football stadium bears his name.
TONY DINATALE (1935-1937) ... Tony was a star known for his long and accurate punting and kicking. He was a talented quarterback and captain of the 1937 team, who was selected to play on the Eastern All-Star team that played against various professional teams.
CHARLIE O'ROURKE (1937-1941) ... Long after "Chuckin' Charlie" O'Rourke had ended his career at Boston College, Eastern experts persisted in proclaiming him "the greatest football player" in the school's history. Skinny at 155 pounds over a
5-10 frame, O'Rourke was one of the most clever tailbacks the game has ever known, bringing a twinkle to the eyes of a young head coach named Frank Leahy, and leading Boston College to a 9-1 record in the 1939 regular season campaign, and the Eagles' first bowl invitation. He
used his senior season to catapult the Eagles to a 10-0-0 record and inspired the Eagles to a come-from-behind 19-13 victory over powerful Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl. However, O'Rourke's finest acclaim came earlier that season; in a classic battle with previously unbeaten
Georgetown - a game that Grantland Rice heralded as "the greatest college football game I've ever seen." At Boston College he played one year under Gil Dobie, two years under Frank Leahy, and made All-America in 1940. He had a pro football career with the Chicago Bears, Los
Angeles Dons, and Baltimore Colts in 1942 and from 1946-49. He coached football at the University of Massachusetts 1952-59.
VITO ANANIS (1938-1940) ... Vito was a very productive running back and was a key member of the 1939 football team that won nine of 10 regular season games and earned Boston College’s first post-season invitation: the 1940 Cotton Bowl. He scored 12 touchdowns in
his senior season, the second highest of any Eastern player. He was named All-East and All- America for his excellent play. He was a member of the College All-Star team that defeated the New York Giants in 1940 and later played professional football with the Boston Bears and
FRANK "MONK" MAZNICKI (1939-1941) ... Monk was a hard running fullback and field goal kicker who played on both the 1940 and 1941 Bowl teams. In 1941 he earned All-America honors for his dominating running and all around offensive skills. He was drafted by
the Chicago Bears and also played with the Boston Yanks.
MIKE HOLOVAK (1940-1942) ... Mike played for three years beginning in 1940, Holovak was a starter at running back at under head coaches
Frank Leahy and Denny Myers, averaging more than five yards per
carry. In 1942, Holovak served as co-captain of the Eagles' squad. The team competed in the 1943 Orange Bowl
game, a contest in which he rushed for 158 yards on just 10 carries and scored a record-setting three touchdowns. He earned All-America honors that season and finished fourth in voting for the Heisman Trophy. After his two
years playing for the Chicago Bears, Holovak retired in 1949 to become the freshman football coach at Boston College. After two seasons in which he compiled an undefeated record, he was promoted to head coach at Boston College in 1951. In his first five years, Holovak compiled
a mark of 24–16–5, winning Coach of the Year honors in 1954 from New England football writers. Those efforts were good enough to earn him a new four-year contract, but even after four more winning seasons, he left in 1959. Two weeks later Holovak signed as a scout with the
fledgling Boston Patriots, then was named an assistant under Lou Saban. After a 5–9 record that year and a 2-3 start in
1961, Saban was fired on and replaced by Holovak.
MICKEY CONNOLLY (1940-1942) ... Mickey was named a member of the All-East team in 1941 and 1942. He scored a touchdown in the 1943 Orange Bowl game and kicked three extra points. After serving in the Pacific, Mickey played pro football
for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946.
CHET GLADCHUCK (1939-1941) ... Chet was an All-America center on Boston College's storied 1940 Cotton Bowl and 1941 Sugar Bowl teams. Nicknamed "The Gentle Giant" for his formidable size, yet amiable demeanor, Chet followed his playing days at Boston College with
a distinguished career in the National Football League, and later, as a college football coach.
GENE GOODREAULT (1939-1941) ... Gene was one of the most outstanding ends in the history of New England college football, Gene was and All-East and All- America player on Boston College's 1940 Cotton Bowl and 1941 Sugar Bowl teams. He was the first winner of the
Bulger Lowe Award as New England's best college football player.
HANK TOCZYLOWSKI (1939-1941) ... Hank was the quarterback of the outstanding Boston College teams that played in the 1940 Cotton Bowl and the 1941 Sugar Bowl, the latter of which went on to win the National Championship. He was an All-East and All-America selection in
his senior year for his stellar offensive and defensive play.
GIL BOULEY (1941-1942) ... Gil was a fierce and determined tackle, and an All-East selection as a sophomore and followed with All-America honors in his junior year. He was chosen captain of the 1943 Eagle team, but service to his country interrupted his collegiate
career before the season began. He played seven seasons with the Los Angeles Rams where he earned All-Pro recognition and then returned to Boston College as offensive line coach where his teaching and motivational skills made him an overwhelming success.
DON CURRIVAN (1940-1943) ... Fleet of foot and sure of hand, this All-America end's pass- catching and running abilities were key
factors in boosting the Eagles to national rankings and berths in the 1941 Sugar Bowl and 1943 Orange Bowl. A stalwart defensive end as well, he was a major and versatile contributor to this great era of Boston College gridiron success. He played seven seasons for the Chicago
Cardinals (1943), the Boston Yanks (1945–1948), and the Los Angeles Rams (1948–1949).
FRED NAUMETZ (1940-1943) ... Co-captain and All-America center and linebacker. He was a letter-winning player on three Boston
College Bowl teams (1940 Cotton Bowl, 1941 Sugar Bowl, 1943 Orange Bowl). He later had an outstanding professional football career with the Los Angeles Rams, where he served as team captain from 1948 through 1950.
PETE CIGNETTI (1937-1940) ... Nicknamed "Pounding Pete", he was a hard running fullback and defensive cornerstone of the 1939 Eagles who
played in the Cotton Bowl game.