It was 1939 – when the pigskin was actually pig skin, helmets were leather and Manchester College shared headlines with football powerhouses Michigan and Notre Dame. Led by Coach Carl Burt ’27 and quarterback Don Lieberum
’40, the 1939 squad trumped the competition with a 7-1 record.
An overwhelming victory of 41-0 over Grand Rapids College and a scoring record in the 72-3 dismantling of Defiance College helped place Manchester at the pinnacle of national rankings and in the headlines of The New York Times. Supporting Lieberum’s 19 touchdowns, kicker Bob Brandon ’42 booted 23 extra points to lead the nation in that category. All-State players Gerald “The Bull” Detrick ’40, Glenn Kistler ’42 and Bill Miliner ‘41 helped land Manchester’s offense second in the nation.
Lieberum would go on to play pro football for the New York Giants. Burt would continue to find success, with a 73-43-9 overall record before his last game in 1942. His legacy is recalled in the naming of Carl W. Burt Memorial Stadium.
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