Nov. 1, 2005
The Temple game weekend (Oct. 21-22) was special time as Reunion Weekend was celebrated at Clemson University.
Members of past Tiger basketball teams — including federal court judge Bob Conrad, who played on the Clemson team that reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in 1980 — were recognized during the football game. The list of men’s basketball players who also returned included Grayson Marshall, Clemson’s all-time leader in assists. Grayson made the trip from Jacksonville and it was good to have him back on campus.
Members of the 1955, 1980 and 1995 football teams were also recognized during the weekend. On Friday night, the reunion began with a reception and dinner. The following day, members of the reunion teams made a ceremonial trip down The Hill during pre-game festivities.
Most noteworthy were the accomplishments of those football teams. The 1955 squad went 7-3, which included victories over Georgia (26-7), Virginia Tech (21-16) and South Carolina (28-14). In 1980, Clemson was 6-5, with a season-ending 27-6 victory over South Carolina that many believe set the stage with momentum for Clemson’s 1981 season. The 1995 team went 8-3 — including five consecutive victories at the end of the year — to earn an invitation to the Gator Bowl.
In addition to those teams, the 1939 and 1948 teams hold a reunion every year. The 1939 was Clemson’s first-ever bowl team as they traveled to Dallas to face Boston College in the 1940 Cotton Bowl. Clemson’s first undefeated team was the 1948 squad, which won the 1949 Gator Bowl over Missouri.
Next year will be another special reunion year as the 1981 National Championship team is inducted into the football Ring of Honor. Clemson’s national champion teams in men’s soccer (1984 and 1987) as well as the 2003 National Championship golf team will also be inducted into their respective Rings of Honor in the future.
The reason that we have a really good opportunity for a strong future is because of our past. These teams were the trailblazers that set the standard for football at Clemson. The foundation that they laid — and continue to lay with their continuing involvement with our program — is a primary reason we look to the future with great optimism with our total sports program.
— I would be remiss if I did not point out two individuals.
Charlie Bussey puts together the Reunion Weekend. It is a laborof love for Charlie. We can’t thank him enough for his hard work.Also in attendance was Bill McLellan, who was a member of the 1955team. Speaking as an outsider coming in who observed the growth ofClemson, Bill McLellan was the most visionary of his time. Billadded the upper decks and the executive suites to the stadium at atime when no one was doing those kinds of things. Just about everystadium thereafter was modeled on Bill’s handiwork. Many schoolscame to Clemson. A lot of what you see across America is a directresult of what was started at Clemson. His vision has been copiedand emulated many times over.
In Solid Orange, Terry Don Phillips
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