Winter 2010

Eye on the Quads

Back to the beginning

The Maroons celebrate the 40th anniversary of football’s return to campus with a winning season.

By Katherine E. Muhlenkamp


This fall marked 70 years since President Robert Maynard Hutchins eliminated Chicago’s football program and 40 years since it was reinstated. In 1969, athletic director Walter Hass and the players on his club team succeeded in getting football back as a Division III program.

The football team commemorated the anniversary of football’s return with its first winning campaign (5–4) since 2005, despite a rash of preseason injuries. After opening the season by winning a nail-biter against Kenyon College, the Maroons played their first home game against the Wabash Little Giants, a Division III powerhouse. Playing in front of packed stands, the Maroons scored a touchdown in the first quarter but lost ground later in the half and eventually lost 48–10.

After the game, the Core caught up with head football coach Dick Maloney and fourth-year Cory Swaim, team cocaptain.


Coach Maloney on…

Kicking past Kenyon in the season opener: With about eight seconds on the clock, we hit our receiver, third-year Clay Wolff, with a pass. He stepped out on Kenyon’s 20-yard line; then our kicker, first-year Jeff Sauer, put one through the upright, tying the game. We won in the second overtime—the team was ecstatic.

The Wabash win: The last two minutes of the first half did us in—we gave them the opportunity to score 14 points. But if you look at the stats, we played much better than we did a year ago against Wabash.

Football and friendships: The University of Chicago has 65 players on its team; most of the schools we play have well over 100. This has its challenges, but it has real benefits as well, and one of them is a tight-knit football team.

Maroon motivation: Athletes at the U of C love what they do—besides academics, this is what makes their world go round.


Cory Swaim on…

Playing for pride: We had some mental lapses, but other than that, I just think that Wabash is a great team. I was proud of how our guys fought and didn’t give up in the second half.

Being cocaptain: I’ve learned from past captains how to put things together. I have meetings with first-years, and if any of the younger guys need anything, like advice on which classes to take, they can talk to me or to any of the other seniors.

Practice and papers: I’m so used to doing school and football at the same time that it’s second nature at this point. I actually find it easier during football season to get my work done. I don’t have time to procrastinate.

Support in the stands: It’s great when the stadium is full—looking up and seeing all that maroon is a warm feeling.