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Department of Athletics records

 Collection
Identifier: A017

Scope and Content Note

The Department of Athletics collection consists of approximately 45.8 cubic feet of records, 1,667 reels of film, and 45 cubic ft. of trophies and plaques. The reels of film are found by their location on the shelves rather than by box number, as they are housed in plastic film containers. Because the original order of the records was indiscernible, they were arranged into 4 series: I. Department of Athletics, II. Department of Health, III. Department of Physical Education, and IV. Department of Student Activities.  All series are arranged alphabetically then chronologically.  The bulk of the records were generated during Herbert Wendell Gallagher's tenure as the Athletic Director, 1953-1977 and Irwin Cohen's time as track coach, 1963-1983 and later as Athletic Director 1983-1993.  The Department of Athletics was part of the same Department as Physical Education, Health, and Student Activities from 1921 until the early 1960's.  The collection also includes records from all of these now separate Departments.  The films portray sporting events, primarily football and basketball, from 1934-2008 (location 24/3/4-7, 24/4/1-7, 25/1/1-7, 25/2/3-4, 25/3/7, 30/1/1-2, and boxes 22-26, 40-52). In addition, of particular note are a collection of 102 cartoons and drawings by prominent sports cartoonist Phil Bissell (box 53, FF1/D2). The cartoons, spanning the years 1964-1985, were used for game day programs and celebrate achievements by Northeastern athletes and coaches.

Dates

  • 1921-2014

Creator

Conditions Governing Access:

Records are closed for 25 years from the date of their creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office. Personnel and student records are closed for 75 years from their date of creation.

Historical Note

In 1921 the Department of Student Activities was established, with divisions of Publications, Athletics, and Miscellaneous Activities.  In 1924, Athletics was established on a University basis with 6 sports, with requirements for eligibility, letter awards, and other phases of intercollegiate competition.  From 1929-1953, Edward Parsons was Director of Student Activities, with the later title of Director of Health, Physical Training, and Student Activities.  In 1953, Herbert Gallagher was named Director of Health, Physical Training, and Student Activities.  From 1960-1962, the Student Activities, Physical Education, and Health components were all separated from the Department of Athletics and in 1960, Herbert Gallagher was named Director of Health and Athletics and Charles Kitchin was named Director of Student Activities.  Herbert Gallagher retired in 1977.

Herbert Gallagher attended Northeastern University from 1930 until 1935, earning nine varsity letters in three sports.  He was coach of the Austrian national hockey team in the 1936 Olympic Games in Garmisch, Germany.  He returned to Northeastern in 1937 to become a professor of physical education, coach of the varsity hockey and freshman baseball teams, and backfield coach of the football squad. In addition, Gallagher served as secretary-treasurer of the New England Athletic Conference, and was at various times president of the New England Athletic Conference, the Greater Boston Collegiate Athletic Conference, the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges, the Intercollegiate Ice Hockey Association, and the American Hockey Coaches Association.  He also chaired the National Collegiate Athletic Association Ice Hockey Rules Committee and the United States Olympic Hockey Committee.  (Source: box 2, folders 80-81)

Irwin Cohen also attended Northeastern University and graduated in 1961 only to return as an assistant coach in 1962. In 1966 Cohen took over as head coach for Cross Country and Track and Field where the track team rose to new heights in championships. Cohen was award New England Track Coach of the Year in 1972, 1974, 1976 and 1977 and was president of various track and field associations such as Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America Coaches Association and the New England Track and Field Association. Irwin Cohen would later become the Athletic Director for Northeastern University (1983-1993).

Established in 1974, the Varsity Club Hall of Fame recognizes Northeastern University's most impactful and outstanding student-athletes, coaches, and benefactors. Each year, individuals are selected for enshrinement based upon the following primary criteria: performance as a Northeastern student-athlete, character, athletic accomplishment beyond the University, and social impact. As of 2015, the Department of Athletics is home to 18 NCAA Division I sports, 43 club sports, and 32 intramural sports. The majority of Division I teams compete in the Colonial Athletic Association, with the exceptions being men's and women's hockey (Hockey East), and men's and women's rowing (Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges/Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges).

Chronology

  • 1903 First World Series played at Huntington Avenue American League Baseball Grounds
  • 1921 Department of Student Activities with divisions of Publications, Athletics and Miscellaneous Activities established
  • 1924 Athletics established on a University basis with 6 sports, with requirements for eligibility, letter awards, and other phases of intercollegiate competition
  • 1927 King Husky I becomes first mascot
  • 1929 First year of hockey as a varsity sport
  • 1933 First year of football as a varsity sport
  • 1951 First year of ROTC
  • 1958 Bronze statue of King Husky I takes place of living dogs as mascots
  • 1961 Physical Education component separated from Department of Health and Athletics
  • 1962 Health component separated from Department of Athletics
  • 1964-1965 Crew started as varsity sport, G. Ernest Arlett named 1st coach.  Team competes in Henley
  • 1966 Baseball team in College World Series
  • 1968-1969 Minor sports are organized for both men and women. First women's basketball, field hockey, and lacrosse varsity teams
  • 1969 Barletta Natatorium dedication and Parson's Field dedicated in the name of former athlete, coach and athletics director Edward S. Parsons
  • 1974 The Varsity Club Hall of Fame is established
  • 1978 Sports Publicity moved from Athletics Department to Public Affairs
  • 1979 Northeastern purchases Boston Arena from the state of Massachusetts, arena designated the George and Hope Mathews Arena in 1982
  • 1984 Center for Study of Sport in Society established 
  • 1986 Dedham Campus Track is completed
  • 1989 Henderson Boathouse completed, selected as “the best boathouse in the United States” by American Rowing in 1990
  • 1991 Jeanne Rowlands, Director of Women's Athletics retires, Men's and Women's athletics departments merged months later, Northeastern admitted to Yankee Football Conference
  • 1993 The Red Sox and the Yawkey Foundation gives Northeastern a statue of Cy Young, which is placed outside Churchill Hall at the site of the first World Series in 1903
  • 2000-2004 The women's swimming and diving team won five straight America East championships
  • 2002 Huskies Football team advanced to the NCAA playoffs for the first time
  • 2005 Northeastern joins the Colonial Athletic Association.
  • 2009 Football team plays its final season.
  • 2012 Athletics Director Peter Roby appointed to the NCAA Division I men's basketball committee.
  • 2015 Women's Rowing, Men's Basketball, Men's Track and Field win conference championships.
1903
First World Series played at Huntington Avenue American League Baseball Grounds
1921
Department of Student Activities with divisions of Publications, Athletics and Miscellaneous Activities established
1924
Athletics established on a University basis with 6 sports, with requirements for eligibility, letter awards, and other phases of intercollegiate competition
1927
King Husky I becomes first mascot
1929
First year of hockey as a varsity sport
1933
First year of football as a varsity sport
1951
First year of ROTC
1958
Bronze statue of King Husky I takes place of living dogs as mascots
1961
Physical Education component separated from Department of Health and Athletics
1962
Health component separated from Department of Athletics
1964-1965
Crew started as varsity sport, G. Ernest Arlett named 1st coach.  Team competes in Henley
1966
Baseball team in College World Series
1968-1969
Minor sports are organized for both men and women. First women's basketball, field hockey, and lacrosse varsity teams
1969
Barletta Natatorium dedication and Parson's Field dedicated in the name of former athlete, coach and athletics director Edward S. Parsons
1974
The Varsity Club Hall of Fame is established
1978
Sports Publicity moved from Athletics Department to Public Affairs
1979
Northeastern purchases Boston Arena from the state of Massachusetts, arena designated the George and Hope Mathews Arena in 1982
1984
Center for Study of Sport in Society established 
1986
Dedham Campus Track is completed
1989
Henderson Boathouse completed, selected as “the best boathouse in the United States” by American Rowing in 1990
1991
Jeanne Rowlands, Director of Women's Athletics retires, Men's and Women's athletics departments merged months later, Northeastern admitted to Yankee Football Conference
1993
The Red Sox and the Yawkey Foundation gives Northeastern a statue of Cy Young, which is placed outside Churchill Hall at the site of the first World Series in 1903
2000-2004
The women's swimming and diving team won five straight America East championships
2002
Huskies Football team advanced to the NCAA playoffs for the first time
2005
Northeastern joins the Colonial Athletic Association.
2009
Football team plays its final season.
2012
Athletics Director Peter Roby appointed to the NCAA Division I men's basketball committee.
2015
Women's Rowing, Men's Basketball, Men's Track and Field win conference championships.

Chronology of Directors

  • 1921-1926 Joseph Spear, Director of Student Activities
  • 1926-1929 Harold Melvin, Director of Student Activities
  • 1929-1953 Edward Parsons, Director of Student Activities, later title of Director of Health, Physical Training and Student Activities
  • 1953-1977 Herbert Gallagher named Director of Health, Physical Education and Student Activities, later changed to Director of Health and Athletics
  • 1977-1983 Joseph Zabilski, Director of Athletics
  • 1983-1993 Irwin Cohen, Director of Athletics
  • 1980-1991 Jeanne Rowlands, Director of Women's Athletics
  • 1993-1997 Barry Gallup, Director of Athletics and Head Football Coach.
  • 1997-2002 Ian McCaw, Director of Athletics
  • 2002-2007 Dave O'Brien, Director of Athletics
  • 2007-Present Peter Roby, Director of Athletics
1921-1926
Joseph Spear, Director of Student Activities
1926-1929
Harold Melvin, Director of Student Activities
1929-1953
Edward Parsons, Director of Student Activities, later title of Director of Health, Physical Training and Student Activities
1953-1977
Herbert Gallagher named Director of Health, Physical Education and Student Activities, later changed to Director of Health and Athletics
1977-1983
Joseph Zabilski, Director of Athletics
1983-1993
Irwin Cohen, Director of Athletics
1980-1991
Jeanne Rowlands, Director of Women's Athletics
1993-1997
Barry Gallup, Director of Athletics and Head Football Coach.
1997-2002
Ian McCaw, Director of Athletics
2002-2007
Dave O'Brien, Director of Athletics
2007-Present
Peter Roby, Director of Athletics

Extent

165.80 cubic feet (55 containers, 1,667 reels of film, 7 flat file folders)

Overview

In 1921, Northeastern University's (NU) Department of Student Activities was established, with divisions of Publications, Athletics and Miscellaneous Activities. In 1924, athletic participation in six sports at NU was formalized, with requirements for eligibility, letter awards, and other phases of intercollegiate competition. From 1929 to 1953, Edward Parsons was Director of Student Activities, with the later title of Director of Health, Physical Training and Student Activities. In 1953, Herbert Gallagher became the director. Between 1960 and 1962, the student activities, physical education, and health components were separated from the Department of Athletics. The Varsity Club Hall of Fame was established in 1974 and recognizes Northeastern University's most impactful and outstanding student-athletes, coaches, and benefactors. As of 2015, the Department of Athletics is home to 18 NCAA Division I sports, 43 club sports, and 32 intramural sports.

Overview

The bulk of this collection consists of athletic films and VHS tapes, mainly from football and basketball. The collection also documents the activities of Northeastern University's Department of Athletics and its predecessor, the Department of Student Activities, between 1930 and 1996. The bulk of these records were generated during Herbert Wendell Gallagher's tenure as Athletic Director, 1953-1977. The collection also includes records from the Departments of Physical Education and Health, which were sub-divisions of the Department of Student Activities between 1921 and 1962. Records include correspondence and memoranda, athletic films, newspaper and magazine clippings, athletic programs, press releases, schedules, score books, student lists, policies, agendas, trophies, and plaques. Of special interest are several letters from students and colleagues detailing their experiences in World War II. The collection also includes a significant amount of records pertaining to the Cross Country and Track and Field team from 1921-1998 that were created during Irwin Cohen's time as a track coach (1962-1983), these records consist of correspondence, records of team workouts, and programs from cross country and track and field events. The Varsity Hall of Fame records include files for each inductee, consisting of biographical data, induction programs, newspaper clippings, notes, photographs, press releases, and travel sheets. In addition, of particular note are a collection of 102 cartoons and drawings by prominent sports cartoonist Phil Bissell. The cartoons, spanning 1964-1985, were used for game day programs and celebrate achievements by Northeastern athletes and coaches.

System of Arrangement:

This collection is organized into five series: Series I. Department of Athletics, Subseries A. Administration, Subseries B. Varsity Club Hall of Fame, Subseries C. Baseball, Subseries D. Basketball, Subseries E. Cross Country, Subseries F. Football, Subseries G. Ice Hockey, Subseries H. Outside Associations and Committees, Subseries I. Phil Bissell Cartoons; Series II. Department of Health; Series III. Department of Physical Education; Series IV. Department of Student Activities; and Series V. Athletic Memorabilia.

Physical Location

24/2-4, 25/1-3, 9/1-4, 30/1, 32/2, 32/4, FF4/D1, FF4/D2, 42/3-4

Related Archival Materials:

A sortable index of the Varsity Club Hall of Fame inductees is available online at http://www.gonu.com/hof.aspx?tab=halloffame.

Bibliography

  • Marston, Everett C. Origin and Development of Northeastern 1898-1960. Boston : Northeastern University Press, c.1961. CALL NUMBER: LD4011.N22M3
  • Frederick, Antoinette. Northeastern University: An Emerging Giant: 1959-1975. Boston : Northeastern University Custom Book Program, c.1982. CALL NUMBER: LD4011.N22F7X
  • Frederick, Antoinette. Northeastern University, Coming of Age: The Ryder Years, 1975-1989. Boston : Northeastern University, c. 1995. CALL NUMBER: LD4011.N22F732
  • Feldscher, Karen. Northeastern University, 1989-1996: The Curry Years, Smaller but Better. Boston: Northeastern University, c. 2000. CALL NUMBER: LD4011.N22 F45 2000
  • Northeastern Athletics, “Northeastern History and Championships” http://www.gonu.com/sports/2010/3/25/GEN_0325105245.aspx, Accessed July 9, 2015.
  • Northeastern University. “Northeastern Hall of Fame: Irwin M. Cohen,” Northeastern University, http://gonu.com/hall/hall2.html
  • Northeastern University Athletics Official Web Site. Northeastern University, http://gonu.com/facilities/
Title
Finding aid for the Department of Athletics Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Andrew Begley
Date
August 2015
Language of description
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US