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John F. Druze

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John F. Druze

John F. Druze
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1914-07-03)July 3, 1914
Newark, New Jersey
Died December 27, 2005(2005-12-27) (aged 91)
Scottsdale, Arizona
Playing career
1936–1937
1938
Fordham
Brooklyn Dodgers
Position(s) End
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1956–1958 Marquette
Head coaching record
Overall 2–26–1
Statistics
College Football Data Warehouse

John F. "Johnny" Druze (July 3, 1914 – December 27, 2005) was an American football offensive lineman and coach.

Playing career

College

In 1936, Tim Cohane, Fordham University's publicist, discovered a newspaper clipping from 1930 paying tribute to Fordham's linemen by calling them the Seven Blocks of Granite. Cohane revived the nickname for the Rams' 1936 and 1937 lines, and it was this second version that gained the greatest renown.

Druze, who was known as "Tarzan", was the right end. He was captain of the 1937 team and was also its placekicker.

The 1936 Rams finished 5–1–2 and lost a possible Rose Bowl bid when they were upset by New York University at Yankee Stadium, 7–6, in the season's final game.

"That was always a blood game", Druze told Newsday in 1986, referring to the rivalry. "Forget about the records. It was like Purdue and Notre Dame."

Fordham's 1936 team shut out three opponents and gave up only 33 points. The 1937 Rams were 7–0–1 and held five opponents scoreless.

Druze's best-known teammate on the Seven Blocks of Granite was Vince Lombardi, the Pro Football Hall of Fame coach of the Green Bay Packers, who played right guard. But Alex Wojciechowicz, the All-American center and later a Hall of Fame player with the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles, was the star of the Fordham line.

The other linemen were right tackle Al Babartsky, who later shortened his name to Bart, and was, by his recollection, the biggest block at 6 foot 1 and 220 pounds; left guard Nat Pierce; left tackle Ed Franco; and left end Leo Paquin.

The Seven Blocks of Granite were stars on the sports pages, and they certainly earned their acclaim. But the players were treated the same as all Fordham students. As Druze recalled a half-century later, "You hit the books, you're back on the field and you hit the books again."

NFL

Druze was an 11th round (93rd overall) of the 1938 NFL Draft by the Brooklyn Dodgers. He played only that following season in the National Football League.

Coaching career

Boston College

Druze became an assistant to Frank Leahy at Boston College in 1939. Leahy had coached the Seven Blocks of Granite as an aide to Fordham's head coach, Jim Crowley, one of Notre Dame's Four Horsemen.

Notre Dame

When Leahy became the Notre Dame head coach in 1941, Druze joined him as an assistant, and he became a mentor to Leon Hart, an end who won the 1949 Heisman Trophy.

Marquette

Druze was the 18th head football coach at Marquette University located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He held that position for three seasons, from 1956 until 1958.[1] His coaching record at Marquette was 2 wins, 26 losses, and 1 tie. Since Marquette has discontinued its football program, this ranks him 18th at Marquette in total wins and 18th at Marquette in winning percentage (.086).[2]

Family

Druze is survived by his wife, Rose; his daughters, Dottie Druze and Jody Faker; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

References

External links

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