Anderson, Golden & Murphy Join Elite Company
By Andrew Rumney
Special to GoHolyCross.com
When Crusader alumni and fans think of Holy Cross football in the 1950s and 1960s, they think of Dr. Eddie Anderson and Dennis Golden. When they consider the team’s success in the 1980s, David Murphy comes to mind. These legends of Holy Cross football left their mark on the school, the program and all of college football. As we honor them today, we take a look back at the impact they had at Holy Cross and consider what it means to them to be in the Ring of Honor.
Golden, a two-way tackle for the Crusaders, mentions how he feels about being part of such an elite group. “It gives me extraordinary humility,” said Golden, who was selected All-New England and All-East twice and elected co-captain by his teammates prior to his senior year.
After graduating, Golden was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, and he was faced with the decision as to whether or not to pursue the opportunity. “I thought to myself, ‘I really need to think this over. Do I want to serve my country or do I want to go to training camp?’” stated Golden. “I decided to serve my country and I was a three-year officer in the Marines. It was the right decision for me.”
Golden returned to football in 1963 when he played on the Quantico Armed Forces Championship team in the Marines. “It taught me the love of the game and how much I appreciated it,” said Golden. His football days in the Marines also led him to have a new passion for coaching. “The coaching part of it came both naturally and observationally,” he said. “That’s when I really started to analyze the game and become a student of it.”
From there he pursued a career in higher education and returned to Holy Cross to work in student affairs. It was then that he began his coaching career, spending time after work helping out at football practices. He coached the freshman team in 1967 and 1968 before deciding to step away to further pursue his career in higher education, becoming the first-ever Dean of Students at Framingham State College. In 1972, Golden created a football program at Framingham State that now has been running for over 40 years.
Murphy was a four-year starter in the defensive backfield at Holy Cross, helping lead the team to a 40-4 record during his career. No stranger to recognition, Murphy was a four-time First Team All-Patriot League selection and a three-time All-American, in addition to being named All-New England and All-ECAC twice. He received the Bulger Lowe Award as the 1989 Defensive Player of the Year in New England and was selected as the National Player of the Week by Sports Illustrated after the 1988 victory over Harvard. He recorded 28 interceptions and 318 tackles over the course of his career, returning two punts for touchdowns and blocking 10 kicks. Murphy holds the school record and ranks second all-time in FCS history for career interceptions.
“It feels great (to join the Ring of Honor) and it is a very prestigious honor,” said Murphy. “It was a cool feeling when it finally happened. A lot of guys that I played with have reached out to me, and that means a lot too.
“I’m looking forward to bringing my kids to the game,” he continued. “They’ll have some fun with it, and I’m excited to bring my friends and family together. Being able to center it around Holy Cross is great because Holy Cross is a big part of all of our lives.”
Dr. Eddie Anderson coached the Crusaders from 1933-1938 and again from 1950-1964, posting a 129-67-8 record. In his first six years with the team, he recorded a 47-7-4 record with undefeated marks in 1935 and 1937. In 1938, the Crusaders finished with a No. 9 national ranking. He then coached at Iowa from 1939-1942 and 1946-1949, and coached the 1939 Heisman Trophy winner, Niles Kinnick. He also earned National Coach of the Year honors that season. Anderson also played professional football, coached at Loras and DePaul and earned a medical degree from Rush Medical College. His career record of 201-128-15 ranks him 24th all-time in Division I-A victories. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971 and passed away in 1974.
Mark Anderson, his grandson, mentioned how much it would mean to his grandfather to be inducted into the Ring of Honor. “He loved Holy Cross beyond anything,” Anderson said. “This kind of recognition and respect shown to him by the school is something that he would cherish.”
Referred to as “Doc” by his players, Anderson received the utmost respect from those who knew him. “What he enjoyed most about coaching at Holy Cross was his interaction with the student-athletes,” said Anderson. “His players approached him not to talk about professional football but about medicine, so I think he really enjoyed the interactions with the players and their pursuits after Holy Cross and football.”
Anderson also pointed out how much it means to him that his grandfather is remembered as a Holy Cross and college football legend. “It’s striking to go to Holy Cross and see the legacy and the history that he had there and to go to the College Football Hall of Fame and see his plaque there,” said Anderson. “It is flattering to hear what he meant to the school and to Worcester.”
“I found him to be an extraordinary person,” stated Golden, who played for Anderson. “He was stern but fair, very smart and very strong. He set standards of excellence for us on and off the field, and he deserves the best compliment I can give a coach.”
After coaching elsewhere, Anderson returned to Holy Cross in 1950. “He came back because Holy Cross is a place that requires student-athletes to be both students and athletes,” said Anderson. “It was books first and football second, and being able to combine the two really meant something to him. He was proud to be Holy Cross through and through.”
Golden and Murphy also mentioned the integrity of Holy Cross and how proud they were to be a part of a program that makes sure academics comes first. “What I liked most about being a Crusader was understanding what that meant both in terms of scholarship, athleticism and the call to do something positive with your life thereafter,” said Golden.
“There was nothing I couldn’t go through after Holy Cross in terms of the professional world,” said Murphy. “The caliber of the school and the coaches made it one of the best programs in New England.”
Today, as we honor these three legends of Crusader football, they carry their love for Holy Cross into the Ring of Honor with them. Although each of them had unique experiences at the College, they all understood the meaning of being a Crusader and reaped the benefits that came along with it.
This story originally appeared in the Holy Cross Football Gameday Magazine for the Sept. 16 contest between the Crusaders and New Hampshire.