On the “Gold” plane were the starters, along with head coach Ben Wilson and his wife, Helen. This is the story of the crash, and what happened after. Assistant coach Bob Seaman stepped in for Wilson. He once brought the ashes of a coach who wanted to be scattered near the wreckage. Which was news to a certain demographic who was unaware that Wichita State ever played football in the first place. Wichita State will hold its annual remembrance of the 1970 plane crash on Oct. 2. Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall resigned from the program on Tuesday amid allegations of verbal and physical abuse. Survivors of the crash, too, such as defensive lineman Dave Lewis, who went a decade ago because “I wanted to look at it to see what this place of horror resembled in peace. The Wichita State Shockers latest football and basketball news, stats, schedules, football and basketball recruiting. AP/Copyright The Associated Press. “I don’t know when I’ve been up there and I haven’t teared up.”. Around 1 p.m., the chartered twin-engined propliner transporting the Wichita State University football team from Wichita, Kansas, crashed at the base of … Many touched by the tragedy will be there. Packed with people and football equipment, the pilots realized too late they weren’t going to be able to pull up in time to clear the approaching peaks. Burch, who lives in Michigan, saved a decanter of bourbon since 1971, waiting for the right time to share. Senior Bowl preview for 2021 NFL draft: Top prospects, biggest sleepers and most underrated players. On October 2nd, 1970, two planes departed from Wichita, Kansas carrying the Wichita State football team players, coaches, staff, and boosters. SILVER PLUME, Colo. — In a small clearing on Mount Trelease, a faded and tattered yellow shirt rests among twisted shards of metal. Operated by Golden Eagle Aviation, the twin-engined propliner carried 37 passengers and a crew of three; 29 were killed at the scene and two later died of their injuries while under medical care. Of the 40 on board, 31 died. Their first game back in the “Second Season” was against highly ranked Arkansas on Oct. 24. Also on board were Kansas state Rep. Ray King and his wife, Yvonne. Two years ago, Wichita State started making noise about re-starting the Shockers’ football program. Right at your fingertips. Very interesting documentary about the Wichita State football program - amazing story. With more than 30 renowned centers and institutes and state-of-the-art laboratories and research facilities, Wichita State is a national leader in industry-funded research. Bill Burch, who played linebacker for the Shockers, did not travel to the game at Utah State because of a knee injury. They banked the plane sharply to the right, trying to turn around. Visit ESPN to view the Wichita State Shockers team schedule for the current and previous seasons. In clear and calm weather in Colorado at 1:14 p.m. MDT on Friday, October 2, 1970, a chartered Martin 4-0-4 airliner crashed into a mountain eight miles (13 km) west of Silver Plume. Use of this website (including any and all parts and components) constitutes your acceptance of these TERMS OF USE and PRIVACY POLICY. The following is a list of players that attended Wichita State who were drafted in the NFL Draft from 1960-present. Where things stand in college football recruiting before February's national signing day. Indeed, Wichita State fielded a team for 90 years, but dropped the program in 1986 due to poor performance, poor attendance […] Pilot Danny Crocker grabbed the controls and rotated left to attempt an emergency landing. One of the caretakers of that history is John Yeros, a wide receiver who was on the reserve plane. Greater Wichita Junior Football League (GWJFL) Youth in grades 1-8. Wichita State Shockers vs Kansas State Wildcats played on Sept 7, 1985 in Manhattan, KS. ... Alabama football hires Bill O'Brien as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He went with fellow survivors Rick Stephens and Randy Jackson, a talented tailback for the Shockers who spent three seasons in the NFL before returning to Wichita to become a longtime coach and teacher. In between practices, the players attended funerals. The story of the Marshall crash remains at the forefront in the American conscious, with Hollywood making the movie “We Are Marshall” in 2006 and football still being played. “It was like one of my buddies died, because of where the tree came from. Join GWJFL. Teammates, to say a tearful goodbye. Former Shockers player Ed Plopa went on the trek along with Potts. The Lasso character has captured a football national championship with a Rose Bowl-winning, undefeated Wichita State team — which no longer plays football — when he is … “I thought everybody survived — until the next day.”, “I could’ve health-wise. Loved ones, to leave keepsakes. That decision proved to be deadly when one plane went down, taking the lives of 32 people on board, including members of the Wichita State University football team, coaches and boosters. The 1970 Wichita Shockers football team was an American football team that represented Wichita State University as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference during the 1970 NCAA University Division football season.The team compiled a 0–9 record (0–4 against conference opponents), finished last out of five teams in the MVC, and was outscored by a total of 381 to 99. “My brother was a special kid, as all those children were,” Duren said. Domani Jackson, No. Willie Jeffries, former Wichita State football coach, and Jay Hull, former guard for the Shockers, talk about the program's 1982 season. Coed T-Ball. A memorial to Wichita State University football player John Taylor lies among the remains of the tragic plane clash Oct. 2, 1970, near the Loveland Ski Area that killed 31 people. FS1 | FOX | FOX News | Fox Corporation | FOX Supports | FOX Deportes. Wichita State Shockers School History. WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - October 2nd, 1970, is a day Wichita State University changed forever. Wichita State hasn't fielded a football team since the 1986 season, citing budget problems and poor attendance. Bowl Record: 3 Bowls, 0-3, .000 W-L% (Major Bowls) Ranked in AP Poll: 0 Times (Preseason), 0 Times (Final), 0 Weeks (Total) Location: Wichita, Kansas It was like it happened all over again.”, Help | Press | Advertise With Us | Jobs | FOX Cincy | RSS | Site Map To remember. Join Coed T-Ball. Ken Duren was working at a shoe store in Oklahoma City that afternoon when his father called. Copyright: © 2020 ESPN Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. The ’82 campaign was sadly an aberration, as the Shockers limped to four straight 3-8 seasons before closing its doors. Of the 40 on board, 31 died, including 14 players along with coaches, boosters, administrators, trainers and three crew members. It’s also here, a steep climb at 11,000 feet, that many have ventured. But could the program be making a … “It’s always emotional going up there,” said Yeros, who lives in Denver. With February's national signing day next Wednesday, we examine the state of college football recruiting in the 2021 class. But emotionally, I just couldn’t,” said Bruce, who will bring his three daughters to the remembrance. Rookie Baseball. FOX and FOX SPORTS are trademarks of FOX Media LLC. Instead, their memories are preserved through families, teammates, friends and the school. Despite deep cuts to his legs, Bruce scrambled through the forest that afternoon and down the slope in search of help, eventually reaching an opening near where Interstate 70 now passes. To cry. Soon after, another tragedy: On Nov. 14, 1970, the Marshall University football plane crashed and killed 75 people, including most members of the team. Senior Rookie: Boys ages 19 and under. The official athletics website for the Wichita State Shockers Summer League. Wichita State football, meanwhile, finished above .500 just once in the final 17 seasons after the crash. Emblazoned across the front: Wichita State. Not long after the tragedy, the team voted to play football again that season. Led by president John Bardo, Wichita State has been exploring its conference options in basketball and football. Wreckage from the plane, which was one of two carrying the Shockers to a game at Utah State, is still scattered on the mountain. The Shockers won with a final score of 16-10. Both the “Black” and the “Gold” planes completed the first leg of the trip successfully and landed in Denver, Colorado to refuel. Championships: 5. In July 2020, relatives of members of the 1970 Wichita State football team visit the site where an airplane carrying 40 players and other personnel crashed, killing 31 people. NFL Draft - Players from Wichita State. “I never went back into that dressing room again.”. “The people in Little Rock were just absolutely loving and very sympathetic,” said kicker John Potts, who organized a reunion of the two teams a few years ago. Lewis, who badly injured his left leg in the crash, journeyed back a decade ago to see the wreckage as part of a PBS documentary. A heavy reminder of what took place 50 years ago in this section of the Colorado Rocky Mountains where memorials and tributes dot the scarred landscape. The school will hold a remembrance Friday at Cessna Stadium, where the Shockers played until the football program was disbanded for cost-cutting reasons in 1986. Summer League. A plane carrying the Wichita State football team crashed while traveling to a game at Utah State on Oct. 2, 1970. It’s here a plane carrying the Wichita State football team crashed while traveling to a game at Utah State on Oct. 2, 1970. Neither couple survived. The plane carrying the starters went on a sightseeing tour through the Rockies, while the reserves’ aircraft followed the original flight plan through Wyoming and over to Logan. Five-star cornerback Domani Jackson announced his commitment to USC on Saturday, choosing the Trojans over Arizona State, Clemson, Michigan and Ohio State. At Wichita State, there’s no longer a football team to honor those who died in the crash. With 14 players killed and more injured, the Shockers received permission from the NCAA to use freshmen. All rights reserved. On that visit, Lewis dug up a small pine tree and replanted the sapling in his yard in Overland Park, Kansas. The 8-win 1982 team became the Shockers first since 1963 to conclude a winning campaign, in fact. A few years ago, the tree died of disease. The planes stopped in Denver to refuel. “I heard the explosion,” Bruce recalled. Buttons bearing the names of the 1970 Wichita State University Shockers football team who died in an airplane crash sit in a part of the fuselage of the craft as teammates, family members and friends visit the crash site near Loveland Pass on July 27, west of Silver Plume, Colo. [AP Photo/David Zalubowski] In this Oct. 3, 1970, file photo, a charred Wichita State University football … Wichita State football is back and it even has a national championship to celebrate. Wichita State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics 1845 Fairmount Street Wichita, KS 67260-0018 Main Phone: (316) 978-3251 He’s been to the crash site more than 20 times since his first visit in 1972, when he took a piece of torn metal from the plane and brought it back to his dorm room. My friends died there.”. From the mountainside to an annual observance on the Wichita, Kansas, campus, that tragic day remains etched in history. He bought books on caring for the tree and watched it flourish. The plane clipped the tops of the trees before crashing into the place where chunks of metal now remain on the charred mountainside. Here's everything you need to know. Unique perspectives on the daily sports topics that matter most. “I sat there on my deck and stared at where the tree was and cried,” the 70-year-old Lewis said. Marshall … Over the years, he’s taken family members and survivors to the spot. There's no NFL combine this year, which means the Senior Bowl is more important. The memorable moment was John Hoheisel, one of the crash survivors, limping out to midfield on crutches for the coin flip. The team, split into two, boarded two Martin 404’s destined for Logan, Utah. It’s holy ground to me. 2021 Spring League. He’ll never forget the sound of his dad’s voice telling him that John, his younger brother and a defensive back for the Shockers, had been in a plane crash. Inside access. On this day in 1970, the Wichita State football team packed up for a game against Utah State. While there, one of the pilots, Ron Skipper, bought aeronautical charts at the airport. “It was an honor to play in that game.”. On Oct. 2, 1970, Wichita State lineman Mal Kimmel boarded a plane with his teammates for their game against Utah State. On the “Black” aircraft were the reserves. “It was a tragedy of monumental proportions.”. Conf. They never arrived. Jackson died of pancreatic cancer a decade ago at 61. The leading rusher in Kansas State history will soon have his name immortalized in the College Football Hall of Fame. Duren raced home. The pilots flew low through a closed-in canyon with little room on each side and the Continental Divide looming ahead. Boys and girls ages 4-6. Seasons: 42 (1945 to 1986) Record (W-L-T): 167-254-12 Adjusted Record (W-L-T): 168-253-12 Conferences: Ind, MVC. Our students get to do real work that impacts businesses, the economy and people's lives. Junior Rookie: Boys ages 16 and under. It took days to learn his brother didn’t survive. “I took the attitude that maybe I was given a second chance that day,” said Mike Bruce, an offensive tackle who was one of only nine survivors of the crash. Two twin-engine planes left that picture-perfect autumn morning from Wichita for the game in Logan, Utah. “I owed it to them, to those who didn’t make it, to do the best I can and be the best I can.”. 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