MAC BB Central

Richard Donald, Football (1937-39)

Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Release: 04/19/2010
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Richard Donald better known as "Dick" Craig lettered in 1937-1939 as a runner, passer, and punter, on Rocket Football teams that were 19-9-1. He was a starter all three years and was one of the teams leading scorers. One of his most memorable games was in 1940 when UT defeated a previously unbeaten St. Mary's of Texas team with Dick scoring the winning touchdown in the last few minutes of play. Dick was the first black athlete ever chosen to play in the college all-star game, and then played in Cleveland, Ohio against the old NFL Rams. Dick Craig also lettered three times, 1938-1940 in baseball, playing first base and hitting so well that he was offered a contract to play professionally with Toledo Crawfords, a black pro team at the time. Dick turned down that pro offer to accept a college coaching job. He was head football coach from 1940 to 1942 at Claflin College in South Carolina, where he also coached basketball and track. He returned to UT in 1943 as an assistant coach under Dr. C.W Spears. From 1945 to 1954, Dick was head coach at Fort Valley State Teachers College in Georgia. While there, he ran the state high school track meet and set up the first state high school all-star game for black high schools in Georgia. In 1954, Dick began a career with the public school system in Pontiac, Michigan. He rose from a physical education teacher to assistant principal to principal and since then has been director of personnel for the entire school district. One of the people who nominated Dick Craig for this honor wrote of him "I personally feel that if black athletes at that time were permitted to play professional football, Dick would have been selected just like several of his teammates." Another wrote: "Dick in his position has influence over the lives of students, staff, and the people of the Pontiac Community...there is no doubt in my mind that he will wear this new honor with distinction.''

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