Former Syracuse athletic director Jake Crouthamel dies at 84

syracuse football
Gregory Fisher/Getty Images
0 Comments

HANOVER, N.H. — Jake Crouthamel, a star halfback and two-way player at Dartmouth in the late 1950s and an accomplished football coach before finding his ultimate niche as athletic director at Syracuse University has died at 84.

Crouthamel died Monday in Hanover, New Hampshire, according to Wendell F. Hartley, Jr. of the Rand-Wilson Funeral Home there.

Born in 1938 in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, Crouthamel was the Big Green’s leading rusher for three seasons and was twice named to the All-Ivy League first team. His career rushing total of 1,763 yards was a school record at the time and still ranks sixth all-time.

Crouthamel was the first player to sign with the expansion Dallas Cowboys in 1960 and the last player cut. He joined the American Football League’s Boston Patriots for their inaugural season and then entered the Navy for three years, where he became involved in coaching, leading the Pearl Harbor Naval team to a championship.

He then returned to his alma mater as an assistant to Bob Blackman. When Blackman departed for Illinois, Crouthamel took over from 1971-77. His teams won or shared three Ivy League championships and he was recognized as New England and NCAA District I Coach of the Year in 1973. He left coaching after compiling a 41-20-2 record to become athletic director at Syracuse and left an indelible mark in 27 years.

He was a driving force in the formation of the Big East Conference in 1979. That also was the year the Carrier Dome opened on campus, giving the university a unique indoor sports venue for football, basketball, and lacrosse.

Successes under Crouthamel’s watch included the 2003 men’s basketball national championship, nine national titles in men’s lacrosse, 14 football bowl appearances and 22 Big East championships. In 1999, Crouthamel was given the National Football Foundation’s John L. Toner Award for dedication to college athletics before retiring in 2005. Three years later, he was inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors (NACDA) Hall of Fame.

“Jake dedicated his life to intercollegiate athletics and was one of the best and most successful athletics directors of his era,” Syracuse director of athletics John Wildhack said in a statement. “The success of the Orange programs during his tenure speaks to his behind-the-scenes leadership, guidance and expertise.”

After the Syracuse men’s basketball team opened its season with a win Tuesday night, coach Jim Boeheim began his postgame press conference with a tribute to Crouthamel.

“He was one of the great leaders of any place,” Boeheim said. “What he did here, his vision, what he accomplished, I think that’s been overlooked, honestly. He was a great AD. He’s the guy you want to be with if you get into a fight someplace, I can tell you that. There’s not many like him.”

Crouthamel is survived by his wife, Carol, two daughters, and four grandsons.

QB Klubnik leads No. 5 Clemson to 27-21 win vs. No. 14 ‘Cuse

Syracuse v Clemson
Getty Images
0 Comments

CLEMSON, S.C. – DJ Uiagalelei tapped backup Cade Klubnik on the helmet and gave him a final piece of advice before the freshman headed to the field with No. 5 Clemson down 21-10 in the third quarter.

“You’re ready for this,” Uiagalelei said.

Clemson’s starter was right. Klubnik, the five-star newcomer, led the fifth-ranked Tigers to two fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 27-21 win over No. 14 Syracuse on Saturday.

Will Shipley scored twice on the ground, including the go-ahead 50-yard TD run with less than 12 minutes to go. Shipley also had a career-high 172 yards rushing.

Clemson (8-0, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) r allied from 14-points down in the first half for its 14th straight win overall, an ACC-record setting 38th straight home victory, and maintained control of the ACC Atlantic Division as the league’s last unbeaten.

And it likely wouldn’t have happened without Klubnik’s steady hand in the final 20 minutes.

Uiagalelei had his worst game of the season with two interceptions – he had two in the first seven games – and a fumble that Syracuse (6-1, 3-1) returned for a 90-yard scoop and score as the Tigers fell behind 21-7.

Klubnik’s spark was immediate. He led a 15-play, 80-yard drive finished by Phil Mafah‘s 1-yard bull rush.

After a Syracuse punt, Klubnik opened the next series with an 11-yard run before Shipley’s game winner to go up 22-21 that sent him into the stands with his own Lambeau Leap. The Tigers went for two as Klubnik escaped a defender in the backfield, rolled right and found Joseph Ngata for the conversion.

Klubnik punched the air and Death Valley erupted in a frenzy.

“Just excited to get my moment,” Klubnik said. “It was awesome – such a great environment today.”

Will there be more ahead this year? Perhaps not.

“As far as DJ, DJ’s our starter, DJ’s our leader,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “Nothing’s changed there.”

Klubnik’s chance came because the Orange pressured Uiagalelei into mistakes. Safety Ja’Had Carter had Syracuse’s first interception, then picked up the loose ball Uiagalelei dropped and ran uncontested for a score.

When Uiagalelei threw his second pick on an off-target pass, Swinney made the change.

Uiagalelei understood, telling offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter he just wanted to win.

“It was a bad day,” Uiagalelei said. “There were mistakes I made, things I wish I had back.”

Clemson held Syracuse to 119 yards and no points the final two quarters. Shrader took Syracuse to the Clemson 30 with 32 seconds left but was picked off by safety R.J. Mickens on his fnal throw.

Shrader passed for a touchdown and rushed for another. He finished 18 of 26 passing for 167 yards.

“This is the first time we’ve tasted defeat and I want the taste out of my mouth and be back on the right side of it,” Syracuse coach Dino Babers said.

Klubnik’s performance was eerily similar to Clemson’s last close call at home against Syracuse in 2018 when Chase Brice – he of the Appalachian State Hail Mary win this season – came in for injured starter Trevor Lawrence and led a 94-yard fourth-quarter scoring drive in the final minute for a 27-23 win.

THE TAKEAWAY

Syracuse: It was certainly a tale of two halves for the Orange, who looked unstoppable and on a mission in the first 30 minutes before caving to the Tigers. Syracuse also made its share of mistakes with several costly penalties down the stretch contributing to Clemson’s win.

Clemson: Quarterback controversy? Don’t be so certain. Fans were hopeful Klubnik would take over for Uiagalelei when the season began after he struggled at times in 2021. While Klubnik was essential to beating Syracuse, Clemson is still Uiagalelei’s team going forward.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Expect Clemson to hold steady, although it has lost ground in the rankings twice before this season after wins. Syracuse Will Likely slip a few spots, but should remain in the Top 25.

INJURY LIST

Clemson linebacker Barrett Carter, third on the team with 33 tackles, missed the game due to a concussion. He’s the latest starter to miss time this season, including defensive linemen Xavier Thomas, Bryan Bresee and Tyler Davis. For Syracuse, top cornerback Garrett Williams did not play after getting hurt against North Carolina State last week. Williams is third on Syracuse with 32 tackles.

UP NEXT

Syracuse returns to the Dome to play Notre Dame on Saturday.

Clemson has the week off before heading to Notre Dame on Nov. 5.

No. 18 Syracuse remains unbeaten, beats NC State 24-9

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Garrett Shrader hit Oronde Gadsden II with a pair of touchdown passes, Sean Tucker scored on a 25-yard run late, and No. 18 Syracuse beat No. 15 North Carolina State 24-9 to remain unbeaten and become eligible for the postseason.

Syracuse (6-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) started a season with six wins for just the third time since 1935, taking advantage of the absence of the Wolfpack’s injured star quarterback, Devin Leary. Hurt last week in a win over Florida State, Leary was declared out for the rest of the season before the game. The preseason conference player of the year suffered a torn pectoral muscle and will undergo surgery next week in Florida. He’s expected to make a full recovery.

The Orange took the opening kickoff and scored in short fashion, driving 65 yards in five plays in just 2:04. Tucker’s 38-yard run set up Shrader’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Gadsden, his fourth scoring catch of the season.

North Carolina State (5-2, 1-2), with Charleston Southern graduate transfer Jack Chambers making his first start at quarterback, struggled on offense. Syracuse outgained N.C. State 113-55 in the first half and the Orange’s 10-3 lead at the break almost seemed too much to overcome in front of a raucous sellout crowd in the newly renamed JMA Wireless Dome.

Still, Chambers got the Wolfpack rolling on the first possession of the second half. He hit Christopher Toudle for 21 yards on a third-and-10 play and an 8-yard completion to Thayer Thomas moved the ball to the Syracuse 12. But a bad snap and a false start penalty on consecutive plays forced the Wolfpack to settle for Christopher Dunn‘s 22-yard field goal.

Shrader’s 17-yard scoring pass to Gadsden late in the third boosted the Syracuse lead to 17-6.

The Wolfpack couldn’t answer as Chambers, who had moved the team to the Orange 8-yard line, was sacked leading to a third field goal.

Tucker’s touchdown run came with just over 2 minutes left to ice the game.

Shrader was 16-of-25 passing for 206 yards and rushed for 85.

Chambers finished 18-of-29 passing for 160 yards, rushed for 68 yards on 19 carries and was sacked three times. The Wolfpack were held to 95 yards rushing a week after netting a season-high 182 and finished with 255 total yards.

The Orange entered the game allowing 14 points and 271.6 yards per game, just ahead of the second-place Wolfpack (15.7 and 297.8). N.C. State’s defense kept the Wolfpack in this one for a while, intercepting Shrader on consecutive possessions in the second quarter, but could not hold up throughout as they allowed 389 yards to the Orange.

RED ZONE WARRIORS

Syracuse entered the game having scored on 23 of 24 trips in the red zone. But with Syracuse poised to take a 17-3 lead late in the second quarter, Shrader suffered his second interception of the season when Tanner Ingle picked him off in the end zone after Syracuse had driven to N.C. State 14. It was the 10th interception of the season for the Wolfpack defense and it rose to the occasion again the next time Syracuse had the ball. Aydan White picked off a Shrader throw along the right sideline deep in N.C. State territory to keep the score 10-3 at halftime.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Syracuse moved up four spots during its bye week, its three victories over Power Five teams a factor in its rise, and likely will move a bit higher.

RING OF HONOR

Syracuse honored three of its greatest players during halftime. Running backs Jim Brown, Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis, and Floyd Little, who each wore the Orange’s famed No. 44, were enshrined in the school’s Ring of Honor. Tucker, who finished with 98 yards rushing on 14 carries, moved past Little for sixth on the school’s all-time rushing list. Little, who died last year, had 2,704.

THE TAKEAWAY

North Carolina State: The Wolfpack have a bye next week, which will give coach Dave Doeren time to make adjustments to his offense with the loss of Leary.

Syracuse: The Orange have only finished with a winning record once under Dino Babers – 10-3 in 2018 – since he took over prior to the 2016 season. Notching its sixth win removes any doubt about the postseason. Last year’s team finished 5-7 after losing its final three games. Syracuse had lost a key player in each of the first five games and standout defensive back Garrett Williams was hurt in the second quarter and was helped off the field. The Syracuse defense has given up more than 20 points only once so far this season.

UP NEXT

North Carolina State: The Wolfpack have a bye before hosting Virginia Tech on Oct. 27.

Syracuse: The Orange are at No. 4 Clemson.