YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – In celebration of the 150th year of college football and the 50th season Eastern Michigan University’s football team has called Rynearson Stadium home, the EMU Department of Athletics is unveiling the best to don the Green and White decade-by-decade over a five-week span. Below is the 25-man team comprised of the best players from the 1970’s.
The 1970’s All-Decade team includes Scott Davis, Mike Strickland, Tom Parm, Reggie Garrett, Chip Gooden, Jim Stansik, Bill DuLac, Mark Carter, Mike Crowell, Jim Pietrzak, Rollie Hansen, David Pureifory, John Banaszak, Dave Boone, Ron Fernandes, Will Foster, Alvin Sanders, Steve Vercammen, Clearence Chapman, Ken Miller, Ron Johnson, Jeff Bixler, Rick Baker, Ray Vanover, and Buster Johnson.
A 10-year span characterized by events like Watergate, the release of the original Star Wars movie, and the end of the Beatles, the 1970’s was also a historic era for football in Ypsilanti. In 1971, the then-Hurons played in a postseason bowl game for the first time in EMU history. Additionally, the “Disco Decade,” saw nine Eastern players drafted into the National Football League, and ushered in a new era of Eastern Michigan Football altogether, as the team joined the Mid-American Conference in 1972. Among its great team successes of the decade, numerous individuals left their mark on the EMU football team during the 1970’s decade.
A highlight within the strong 1970’s offense, Tom Parm is one of the best receivers to ever don the Green and White. A centerpiece of the Eastern Michigan receiving corps in the late-70s, Parm blossomed into one of the league’s best during his final year at EMU. Following a season in which he caught 41 passes for 701 yards, compiled a 17.1 yards per reception average, and was 11th in the nation in kickoff return yardage, the Detroit, Mich. native earned Honorable Mention All-American honors from the Associated Press, as well as First Team All-Mid-American Conference recognition. A four-year letterwinner, Parm held EMU records for passes caught (101), receiving yardage (1,711), as well as the single-season yardage record (701) when he finished his career.
On the defensive side of the ball, David Pureifory highlights a star-studded lineup. Pureifory, a four-time letterwinner from 1968-71, was the first EMU football player to receive honorable mention on three All-American teams in one year, and was the first player to win All-American honors in two different seasons. He was a First Team selection of the American Football Coaches Association-College Division Team in 1970 and 1971, and a First Team pick of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in 1970. He was also named Second Team All-American by the Associated Press-College Division teams of 1970 and 1971. Drafted in the sixth round of the 1972 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, Pureifory went on to play eleven seasons in the NFL. In 1980, he was selected as the Detroit Lions ‘ “Most Valuable Defensive Player.” Pureifory was elected into the E-Club Hall of Fame in 1981 and still ranks second in tackles-for-loss in a season (25) and ninth in single-season solo tackles (68).
In addition to offense and defense, special teams play a vital role in the success of any team. One of the best special teams players of the decade, Ray Vanover was named the 1970’s All-Decade kicker. Vanover knocked-in 67 extra point attempts in his three seasons as a Huron. During the 1973 season, he converted a career-best six extra-point attempts in a single game, against Youngstown State. Vanover added a 11 field goals during his collegiate career at EMU.
The team selections were made through a list of criteria including: all-americans, all-conference student-athletes, Hall of Fame recipients, and statistical leaders from the decade.
Full bios for each of the 25 players named to the 1970’s All-Decade Team can be found via the link at the top of the story. The 1980’s All-Decade team will be announced Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. As always, visit EMUEagles.com or follow @EMUAthletics on Twitter for the latest news about Eastern Michigan athletics.