Let’s not kid ourselves. While the name Ivy League came from an early sports conference, these days “Ivy” conjures thoughts of academia, not athletics.
But that doesn’t mean that an Ivy League school cannot produce some of the finest athletes in the world. In fact, Cornell itself has produced a prominent list of professional athletes.
One famous and currently visible Cornellian is running back Ed Marinaro ’72. As great a runner as Marinaro was, he is probably better known for his time on television than for his time on the gridiron.
But we at Cornell recognize Marinaro first for his prowess on the playing field. While carrying the ball for the Red, he totaled 4,715 career rushing yards and 52 touchdowns, both all-time Cornell records. In 1971 alone, the Hotel School graduate rushed for 1,881, averaging an impressive 209 yards per game. These accomplishments earned Marinaro a second-place finish in the Heisman Trophy balloting in his senior year. He also made the cover of Sports Illustrated that season.
After graduation, Marinaro joined the ranks of the National Football League, playing for the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Jets before he retired in 1978.
Another Red running back to make the national scene was Derrick Harmon ’84. In his three years on the varsity squad, Harmon rushed for 3,074 yards and 26 touchdowns.
After he graduated Cornell with a degree in engineering physics, Harmon moved on to the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. A ninth-round draft choice, he fumbled the opening kickoff in the 1985 Super Bowl.
Like Marinaro and Harmon, kicker Pete Gogolak ’63 fulfilled his dream to go from Cornell to the NFL. Gogolak holds the New York Giants’ all-time scoring mark. But Gogolak’s contribution to NFL goes much farther than simply the points he scored for the Giants. He is also credited with introducing the soccer-style kick that all NFL kickers utilize today.
While Red football is big around here, hockey — as you will soon discover — has the strongest tradition at Cornell. And without a doubt, two of the leading names in the annals of Red sports history are Ken Dryden ’69 and center Joe Nieuwendyk ’88.
Considered by many to be the greatest goalie to ever play the game, Dryden was a three-time All-American and led the Red to its first-ever NCAA championship in 1967. While at Cornell, Dryden posted an incredible .939 career save percentage, a 1.59 goals-against average, and 13 shutouts — all Red records. Dryden’s career record of 76-4-1 also stands as the best in Cornell history.
Dryden soon graduated to even greater glory. As the starting goalie for Montreal from 1971 to 1979, he anchored the defense that led the Canadiens to four straight Stanley Cup championships, and was later elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. This summer, he took a job in the front office of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Nieuwendyk, who co-captained the 1986-87 Big Red squad, enjoyed three stellar seasons with Cornell. The speedy center tallied 86 goals and 93 assists and was twice selected to the Titan All-American first team. In his final year with the Red, Nieuwendyk was named the ECAC Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award — college hockey’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
Two recent Cornell icers, center Kent Manderville ’93 and goalie Parris Duffus ’94, left school early to pursue careers in the NHL.
Manderville, who played two seasons on the Red squad, was a member of Canada’s 1992 silver medal-winning Olympic team. In 1993, Manderville played on the Toronto squad that came within one game of the Stanley Cup Finals. Now, he skates for the Edmonton Oilers.
Duffus, a first-team All-American for the Red during the 1991-92 season, spent last spring as the starting goaltender for the U.S. team that competed in Vienna. He had a cup of coffee for the Phoenix Coyotes last year and is looking to crak the roster full-time for the 1997-98 campaign.
Three recent alums of Cornell crews took part in the Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Tom Murray ’91 rowed in the men’s four without coxswain, while Steven Segaloff ’92 serveed as a coxswain on the men’s eight. Meanwhile, Andrea Thies ’89 calls the quadruple scull event her own.
Before tackling Fortune 500 companies and becoming Cornell’s current Athletic Director, Charles H. Moore ’51, won a gold medal in 400-meter hurdles at the 1952 Helsinki Games. He also picked up a silver as part of a 1600-meter relay team. For his alma mater, Moore holds two school records.
Archived article by Sports