MIAMI — One of the most memorable seasons in Northeastern Oklahoma A&M football history will be commemorated when the 1969 national championship team marks its 50th anniversary during homecoming festivities Saturday, Oct. 5.
The Golden Norse entertain ninth-ranked Blinn College in Southwest Junior College Football Conference play and the ’69 team will be honored at the half.
Some 135 members of the team, spouses and other relatives, including those of deceased players, will be recognized at the half of the 6 p.m. game at Red Robertson Field.
The 1969 Golden Norsemen finished with a 10-0 record, capping the season with a 20-6 victory over Arizona Western in the Shrine Bowl at Savannah, Georgia.
After the season, NEO also was designated the mythical national champion by J.C. Grid-Wire, which included the more than 90 California junior colleges at that time as well as NJCAA schools.
“This ’69 bunch had more talent than any team I have ever coached,” said Chuck Bowman, who had also guided NEO to a national title in 1967. “They came from everywhere. Many walked on and we never knew they were coming. Some came after we had started fall practice over a week, the doors closed at the D-1 level leaving them no place to go except a junior college.
“Since we had won the championship in ’67, D-1 coaches directed them to NEO, even at the last moment.”
Bowman said his greatest fan, Northeastern A&M President Dr. Bruce Carter, gave him the green light to accept the players even with a full count already in place.
“As normal, many of those already here, realized they were in over their heads, and left. Sad as it was, we saw a lot of fine players head to the bus station in the middle of the night.”
Bowman said a number of players on the 1967 team also will be on hand.
The 1969 Norse were inducted into the NEO Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014. Bowman and several of the players and coaches on the ’69 team also have been inducted individually.
According to information compiled by former Norse assistant Dr. Don Rominger, players from the 1969 team received scholarships after either the 1969 or 1970 seasons were OU, OSU, Iowa State, Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M, Missouri, Kansas State, the Miami Hurricanes, Brigham Young, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Tampa, Texas-El Paso, New Mexico, New Mexico State, The Citadel, Indiana State, Weber State, Drake and Missouri Southern (which was transitioning from two- to four-year status).
The 2019 Norsemen improved to 2-3 with an impressive 35-3 road win against Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, Saturday, Sept. 28.
NEO needed only 1:33 to get on the scoreboard then gradually pulled away, ending a three-game losing streak.
A smothering Norse defense limited Navarro to only 34 rushing yards and 248 total.
The Bulldogs are averaging 444.7 yards in total offense on the season.
Blinn used a goal line stand to squeeze by No. 10 Trinity Valley 10-7 on Sept. 28.
“Homecoming on the Range” is the theme for NEO’s homecoming.
Events Saturday leading up to include a noon alumni banquet in the Calcagno Family Ballroom in the Carter Student Union, a 4 p.m. parade around campus and a tailgate party at 4:30 p.m.
Lady Norse softball coach Eric and Keni Iverson are parade grand marshals.
Coronation of the homecoming queen and king will be at the half of the football game.