Pat Fitzgerald Leads Discussion with Former Bears, Wildcats at Great Lakes


With his military style buzz haircut, overt intensity, and passion for the many qualities unique to both college football and the military, Pat Fitzgerald would fit in quite well with the United States Armed Forces. The leader of the Northwestern Wildcats program held a team practice at Naval Station Great Lakes, and plans to hold another Wildcats practice on base this summer.

On Thursday, in cooperation with the Great Lakes Naval Museum, celebrating the proud heritage of athletes at Great Lakes, Fitzgerald led a roundtable discussion of five former Sailor-Athletes who played for Great Lakes during World War II.

Athletes on dais included: Ralph Jecha (football 1953-1954) and played for Northwestern 1950-1952, and in the NFL for both the Chicago Bears and the Pittsburgh Steelers; Don Lesher (1945 football); Stacy Mosser (1943 football); Ernest Bauer (1944 football); and Bill Downey, who also played for Marquette.

Most interesting of all was the proud athletic history of Great Lakes, and learning what a power they once were in both college football and college baseball.

By Paul M. Banks

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