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Jordan's Crimson Elevens Compile 24-31-3 Record

By Jerome A. Chadwick

In 1950 Lloyd P. Jordan inherited from ex-coach Art Valpey a team which had won only one of nine games the previous year. Three years later Jordan produced the College's first winning season since 1946. But after three winning seasons, his teams began the descent which ended this fall in a meager 2-6 record.

Jordan's overall record in seven years of Harvard coaching was twenty-four wins, thirty-one losses, and three ties. Only once--in 1954--did the former Amherst coach manage to win the Big Three title.

But in the last two years, when Jordan-coached teams turned in a poor record of five wins, ten losses, and one tie, there have been increasing expressions of alumni discontent.

The coach answered his critics in part early last month, at the annual varsity football banquet in Boston, when he decried the dearth of football material at the College. He urged the College to admit "some hard-nosed kids"--presumably of the caliber which would give him a winning football team after two losing years.

"Window Dressing"

Jordan continued with the declaration that the College could admit better football players "without compromising scholastic standards." He claimed that "the football team is the window dressing for what Harvard is aiming at--to be tops in the educational field. He concluded his remarks by recommending that a means for obtaining better players be included in planning for the "Program for Harvard College," the Administration's huge fund drive.

Jordan brought from Amherst a style of play not unlike that of his predecessor--the single-wing formation, with an unbalanced line to the right. He also brought with him the reputation of being capable of altering his style of play to suit his material.

The meat of Jordan's attack has always been the power play, employing bucks and cross-bucks much of the time. He made extensive use of the advantages of the single-wing power plays to the strong side of the line. In the seven years at the College, Jordan's teams were constantly plagued with a sieve-like pass defense.


In order to make use of all his backs, Jordan unveiled this year an offense which he had first used at Amherst--the A-formation. This system uses the familiar unbalanced line to the right, with a T-formation backfield. One of the chief advantages of this attack seemed to be that it allowed the Crimson to shift quickly to its old single-wing style.

In his first year here, the Crimson won only one of eight games, against Brown, 14 to 13. In 1951, Harvard won three, lost five, and tied once, taking victories from Springfield, Army, and Brown. Harvard compiled its first winning season in six years in 1952, when Jordan won five and lost four. The wins were against Springfield, Washington University, Colgate, Dartmouth, and Davidson.

Winning Season

In 1953, when Dick Clasby was captain, the Crimson won six and lost two. The wins were over Ohio University, Colgate, Dartmouth, Davidson, Brown, and Yale.

Despite a 4-3-1 record in 1954, Jordan's squad won the Big Three crown, with a 14-9 win over Princeton, and a 13-9 victory over Yale. The Crimson also defeated Cornell and Ohio U.

Last year, 1955, Harvard won three, lost four, and tied once, with wins over Massachusetts, Columbia, and Princeton. This fall, after a loss to Tufts and an impressive win over Cornell, the varsity was able to win only one other contest, against Dartmouth.

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