1971 Football Team Connection GHD

Jan 20, 2023

Giving Hearts Day

  • Giving




Picture this – the final game of the season but to play it, you need to first shovel nine inches of snow off the field and battle another hungry team in sub-zero temperatures for several hours. That scene played out in 1971 when the Jimmie Football team came back from trailing 14-0 at the half to win in what has been considered one of the biggest comebacks in their history.

The 1971 Jimmie Football team finished the season with a 7-2 record and ended up sharing the conference titlethat year. That was the fifth time in six years that these Jimmies had won the conference crown, a record unequaled by any other conference team.

But the team’s story is so much more than just their football record. Michael Leier is one teammate that continues to help spearhead the team’s connection and he writes:

“Our friendship was forged via the spirit of athletic competition and our time at JC. For the past several years we have planned a gathering, 30-35 of us getting together to reminisce, laugh, remind us of our life long bond. We maintain connec-tion via texts and e-mail, keeping us up to date on life’s activities as we have scattered around the country.


We have formed a “flower fund” designed to offer support during times of loss and struggles. We have spearheaded a UJ scholarship fund for one of our longtime members who recently passed. Our friendship and connection remain strong as the years pass. As a group, we are thankful for our time at UJ, and thankful for our lifelong friends.”

The 1971 team was inducted into the University of Jamestown’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2022. If you found yourself among them during their time on campus for homecoming, their dedication to each other was immediately evident. Their bond was clear, their stories were many and their connection was unbreakable even after 50 years.

This team is a shining example of how being a Jimmie is so much more than just earning a degree. Your gift to the University of Jamestown on Giving Hearts Day directly affects our students in a way that is geared toward helping them build a foundation to carry them forward in life, with not only with a world class education for future success, but with the friendships and connections to help support, encourage and celebrate that success. Thank you for considering UJ on Giving Hearts Day!

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