Honoring Black History: Point Pleasant’s Ben Schwartzwalder


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – We continue looking at West Virginia natives who have had an influence in Black history today by taking a look at Point Pleasant native, Ben Schwartzwalder.

Schwartzwalder was the head football coach of the Syracuse Orange from 1949 to 1973.

Over that time he led Syracuse to its only football national title, in 1959.

More importantly, the 1982 College Football Hall of Fame inductee had a significant history of recruiting and developing black players in the 1950s and 60s — an era in college football when many other programs were not doing so.

Schwartzwalder coached Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy Award. He also coached other great black players like Floyd Little and the great Jim Brown, who may not have gotten the shot they deserved without Schwartzwalder.

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