Commentary

Three from Ivies climbed to top

Kelley, Frank, Kazmaier represented Ivy League when it had greater football presence

Updated: September 30, 2011, 9:25 PM ET
By Kieran Darcy | ESPNNewYork.com

Last week we profiled on these pages the three Heisman Trophy winners from West Point. Now we take a look at the three recipients from Ivy League schools.

Yes, you read that correctly -- there have been three Heisman winners from the Ivies, and all three hail from universities in the tri-state area.

Larry Kelley

[+] EnlargeLarry Kelley
AP Photo/LelandsIn 1936, Yale end Larry Kelley became the Heisman Trophy's second recipient.
Kelley was trophy's second winner, in 1936 -- the first year in which it was known as the Heisman. (The award debuted in 1935 as the Downtown Athletic Club Trophy, named for the organization that founded it.)

The 6-foot-2 end caught 15 touchdown passes during his playing days at Yale.

He spent much of his career working as a teacher, coach and administrator at his high school alma mater, the Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J.

Kelley also was the second winner to sell his Heisman Trophy, after O.J. Simpson sold his for $230,000 in February 1999. Ten months later, Kelley's Heisman fetched $328,110 at auction. It was purchased by the owners of the Garrison, N.Y., sports bar and restaurant The Stadium (which, according to the website, boasts other impressive sports memorabilia, including Paul Hornung's 1956 Heisman Trophy and Mickey Mantle's Triple Crown award).

Kelley put the bronze up for auction to help his 18 nieces and nephews out financially, having suffered a stroke a few months earlier.

He died June 28, 2000, at age 85, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

[+] EnlargeClint Frank
Yale Dept. of AthleticsClint Frank was a two-time All-American halfback at Yale and in 1937 brought home the Bulldogs' second consecutive Heisman Trophy.

Clint Frank

As the trophy's third recipient, Frank in 1937 became the second Yale man in as many years to take home the coveted statuette. (The runner-up that year was Colorado running back Byron "Whizzer" White, who went on to be a U.S. Supreme Court justice.)

The 5-foot-10 Frank was a two-time All-American halfback for the Bulldogs.

Upon graduating with a degree in economics, Frank began a career in advertising and went on to serve five years in the Army Air Corps during World War II. (He was an aide to Jimmy Doolittle, the legendary pilot and general.)

Following the war, Frank founded his own advertising firm, Clinton E. Frank Inc. He died July 7, 1992, at age 76.

Dick Kazmaier

Kazmaier, a 5-foot-11 halfback from Princeton, won the Heisman Trophy in 1951 -- when he led the nation in total offense, became the first player to finish more than 1,000 points ahead of the field in Heisman voting, was selected Male Athlete of the Year by The Associated Press and appeared on the cover of Time Magazine.

[+] EnlargeDick Kazmaier
AP Photo/John RooneyPrinceton halfback Dick Kazmaier led the country in total offense in 1951 and won the Heisman Trophy in convincing fashion.
After college, Kazmaier was drafted by the Chicago Bears. But he never played professional football, instead electing to attend Harvard Business School. Following a three-year stint in the Navy, Kazmaier enjoyed a successful business career.

He has since remained involved in many other sports-related activities, including serving on the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and as chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness, as so appointed by President Ronald Reagan.

Kazmaier's daughter Patty Kazmaier-Sandt was an All-Ivy League ice hockey player at Princeton before dying in 1990 at age 28 from a rare blood disease. Each year the country's top NCAA women's ice hockey player is presented the Patty Kazmaier Award.

Now 80, Kazmaier resides in Key Largo, Fla.

Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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