Three Former Crusaders To Be Added To Football Ring Of Honor

Jeff Wiley

WORCESTER, Mass. – The athletic department at the College of the Holy Cross has announced that three former football standouts will be honored this fall, as the third class in the Crusader Football Legends Ring of Honor. Ronnie Cahill (Class of 1940), Pat McCarthy (Class of 1963) and Jeff Wiley (Class of 1989) will all be honored in a ceremony at the 2012 season-opening game against New Hampshire on Aug. 30, and receive permanent recognition at Fitton Field. The contest when the new members of the Ring of Fame will be honored will also be only the second night game in the history of Fitton Field.

Only former Crusader football players who have been elected to the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame are eligible for this honor. The inductees were selected by a committee including representatives from the Holy Cross Athletic Department, the Gridiron Club Leadership Council, the Holy Cross Varsity Club and the Holy Cross Development Office, along with fan voting on With the addition of these three individuals, a total of 13 former players will now be included in the Ring of Honor.

Cahill was a standout player for the great Holy Cross teams of the late 1930s. During his sophomore season he teamed with Bill Osmanski to form one of the Crusaders' most formidable backfields of all-time. That 1937 team would go undefeated, finishing the season with a record of 8-0-2. Cahill would then lead Holy Cross to an 8-1 record during his junior year, and during his senior season (in 1939) the Crusaders went 7-2. Over the course of his three-year varsity career, he helped guide the Crusaders to an overall mark of 23-3-2. Following his graduation in 1940, Cahill played in the College All-Star Game in which the collegians defeated the New York Giants, completing his first 11 passes in a row. He went on to play one season with the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football League during the 1943 season, connecting on 50 of 109 passes for 608 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games played  (including two starts). Cahill was inducted into the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 1965.

McCarthy was a three-year starter at quarterback who rewrote large sections of the record book as a Holy Cross signal caller in the early 1960s. At the time of his graduation, he held school records for rushing touchdowns in a season (12 in 1962), yards of total offense in a game (304 at Boston College in 1960), yards of total offense in a season (1,721 in 1962) and yards of total offense in a career (4,534). McCarthy also scored 25 career touchdowns and graduated as the second leading modern-day scorer in New England history with 176 career points. He won the O'Melia Award as a sophomore after leading the Crusaders to a 16-12 victory over Boston College, and took home the prestigious Bulger Lowe Award as a junior as the best collegiate player in New England. McCarthy placed second in the nation in total offense (1,509 yards) as a junior in 1961, then came in seventh as a senior in 1962 (1,721 yards). He also still holds NCAA records for single-season two-point conversions (six in 1960), career two-point conversions (13) and career two-point conversion passes (19). McCarthy was inducted into the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 1971.

Wiley quarterbacked the high-powered Crusader squads of the late 1980s which compiled a record of 43-9-1 during his four years, including a perfect 11-0 mark during the 1987 campaign. His teams won two Colonial League titles and three straight Lambert Cups, in addition to earning ECAC Team of the Year honors twice. At the time of his graduation, Wiley held Holy Cross records for most passing yards in a game (438 at Massachusetts in 1987), passing yards in a season (3,677 in 1987), passing yards in a career (9,698), touchdown passes in a game (seven at Lehigh in 1987), touchdown passes in a season (34 in 1987) and touchdown passes in a career (71). He was selected as a first team All-American by the Associated Press, the Walter Camp Foundation and the American Football Coaches Association in 1987, in addition to receiving first team Academic All-America honors. A two-time first team All-New England and All-ECAC selection, Wiley was also chosen as the New England Offensive Player of the Year and the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year in 1987. He was inducted into the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 1997.

Individuals who have previously been inducted into the Crusader Football Legends Ring of Honor include George Connor (Class of ex1946), Gill Fenerty (Class of 1986), Bruce Kozerski (Class of 1984), Gordie Lockbaum (Class of 1988), Jon Morris (Class of 1964), Edmund Murphy (Class of 1943), Bill Osmanski (Class of 1939), Vince Promuto (Class of 1960), John Provost (Class of 1975) and Joe Wilson (Class of 1973).