The new Eastern Kentucky Football locker room has been dedicted to the 1967 Grantland Rice Bowl Championship team.
The locker room is part of an expansion project of Roy Kidd Stadium.
The official release is below:
Fifty years ago they established the championship tradition that Eastern Kentucky University football is now known for. On Friday night, members of that team came together for a ceremony dedicating the new locker room in their honor.
The 1967 Grantland Rice Bowl championship team will be honored during halftime of Eastern’s home game against Tennessee Tech on Saturday. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate.
It was this team that ignited a championship tradition in Eastern Kentucky University football. A $250,000 donation from a member of the 1967 championship team, Ted Green, will not only help remember those pioneers but help pave the way for future gridiron success at Eastern.
The locker room is part of the expansion project on the east side of Roy Kidd Stadium, which will open on Saturday and feature more than 3,000 new bleacher seats and a concourse with modern concessions and restroom facilities. The first floor is dedicated to the benefit of Colonel football student-athletes and will include the locker room, team lounge, equipment room and game-day training area.
In the 10 years prior to 1967, Eastern Kentucky had managed only two winning seasons. However, Coach Roy Kidd and the Colonels tallied a respectful 7-3 record in 1966, setting the stage for the first EKU championship team.
“This team got the championship tradition started at Eastern,” said Kidd. “They have always been and will always be one of my favorite teams.”
After finishing the season with a 7-1-2 record, the Colonels were chosen to make the university’s second bowl appearance against Indiana Collegiate Conference champion Ball State University in the Grantland Rice Bowl in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
This bowl game was held to decide the NCAA Mideast Regional Championship, which included a 10-state and 100-team area, one of four such college division championships set up by the NCAA that year.
Eastern went into the game shorthanded as the NCAA would not allow freshmen to play, which kept running back Jack McCoy and fullback Butch Evans on the sidelines. Kidd countered this ruling by moving All-America receiver Aaron Marsh to tailback.
This move paid off as Marsh made a huge contribution in the first half, picking up 46 yards on the ground, grabbing three passes and totaling 39 yards on two punt returns, before being forced from the game with a back injury.
After the Colonels took a 13-7 lead at the break, it was time for one of the biggest plays in Colonel football history when All-America nose guard Teddy Taylor burst through the line, stole the ball from Cardinal quarterback Doc Heath and ran 39 yards for a score that put Eastern up, 20-7.
Ball State, ranked fifth in the nation heading into the Grantland Rice Bowl, responded by reaching EKU’s nine yard-line before the Colonel defense stiffened and stopped the Cardinals’ drive. The next few minutes was vintage Jim Guice. He sliced and diced the Ball State defense, hitting six straight passes for 64 of the 91 yards in the drive, and culminated the back-breaking sequence of events with a 28-yard scoring pass to Ted Holcomb that provided the Colonels with an insurmountable 27-7 lead.
The Eastern Kentucky University football program has won two national championships, 21 conference titles and has made 21 playoff appearances. No other Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team has won at least two FCS national titles and 20 or more conference championships.