Last season The Citadel coaching staff installed the shotgun to help bolster the Bulldog passing attack. But did you know that the team was using a variation of the scheme as far back as 1950 against the University of Florida?
That hidden treasure along with many of the great players and moments in the school’s football history are coming back to life thanks to an ambitious undertaking headed by John Carlisle, the president of The Citadel Football Association.
In conjunction with longtime football coach and athletic director John Daye (horror, an Appalachian State graduate!), Carlisle inherited a project started by former CFA president Charlie Baker to digitize and make available to Citadel fans as many football game films that he could find. That collection currently stands at almost 400 and growing.
With the help of associate media relations director Jon Cole, Carlisle was able to secure close to 50 game films in a variety of formats. The football office, telephone calls to former players and coaches and contacts within the athletic community also enabled Carlisle to add to his burgeoning collection.
“The first complete game we were able to locate was against Florida in 1953. (Former football player) Beaufort Blanton had a copy of the game laying on his desk in Summerville,” said Carlisle. “We sent it to a company in Colorado to be chemically washed since the film was stuck together.”
Since then, the CFA has purchased over $10,000 worth of equipment to enable them to digitize just about any tape format and provide a cleaner, easier to watch film.
The continuing effort to obtain as many games as possible has involved a give-and-take policy, with networking a key component.
“When (defensive coordinator) Denny Doornbos came to The Citadel, he still had a lot of contacts from his coaching days at Army,” added Carlisle. “Because of that we were able to obtain a Citadel-Army game in exchange for an Army-Notre Dame game from 1941 that Daye had in his collection.
“Richard Johnson (a former basketball player at The Citadel) is the athletic director at Wofford and has given us a big assist in getting us many of the films from that rivalry. Furman has been another school that we have worked closely with and (former Bulldog player and coach) Cal McCombs has helped us with schools in North Carolina and Virginia.”
Despite the relatively late start in pursuing game films, the collection amassed by Carlisle and the CFA ranks among the most extensive in the nation. In fact, Daye believes that The Citadel may have the largest digitized collection of any college in the country.
And it’s not just games that Carlisle and Daye can produce. Recently, a colleague of Nick Buoniconti at the Miami Spine Institute requested footage of Nick’s son, Marc, for a project they were developing. Daye took his existing footage from Marc’s career at The Citadel to produce a highlight package that was a big hit.
A list of all available games and special DVDs as well as an order form can be found on the CFA website at cfabulldogs.com. While the cost of a DVD is $25, Carlisle is bundling a package where 10 can be purchased for $150.
Carlisle also invites anyone who has game film or tapes to help him in what he calls on the CFA website his “Labor of Love” and extends his thanks to the many individuals who have already contributed to making the history of Citadel football come alive.
Media Relations Director