Otterbein 13 vs. Bluffton 6
Saturday, October 19, 1940, 1:30 PM
Otterbein Athletic Field, Westerville, Ohio
Time: 11:13 Type: B&W Program: Yes
Schools: Otterbein University is a private university in Westerville, Ohio. The university was founded in 1847 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ and named for United Brethren founder the Rev. Philip William Otterbein. After the merger of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church, in 1968, Otterbein has been associated with the United Methodist Church. Colors: Tan and Cardinal. Mascot: Cardinals
Bluffton University Located on a 65-acre campus in northwest Ohio, the university was founded in 1899 as Central Mennonite College but was reorganized as Bluffton College in 1913 and Bluffton University in 2004. The Mennonite church is an Anabaptist denomination committed to nonviolence, social justice, and voluntary service. Colors: “Bluffton Purple” and white. Mascot: Beavers. (In 1926 the Beaver was adopted as the school’s mascot by athletic director A.C. Burcky due to the animal’s physical characteristics, tireless energy, mechanical prowess and its work to make the world a better place.)
Pio, Chris, Gryphons, Gorloks and Gusties: A History of NCAA Division III Nicknames and Mascots, Privately Published, Las Vegas, NV, 2021, p. 21.
Coaches: Otterbein – Samuel T. “Sam” Selby (1908, Middletown, Ohio – 1988, Middletown, Ohio; OSU ‘31). A Middletown, Ohio native, Sam Selby played guard for Ohio State University under coaches John W. Wilce and Sam Willaman graduating in 1931. During his senior season Selby served as team captain and earned All-East Team honors to play in the East-West Shrine Bowl in addition to being named Honorable Mention All-American. After college, he was the head football coach for one season at Port Clinton High School, followed by seven seasons at Wyoming High School. In 1939, Selby accepted a position at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, where he served as head coach and Director of Athletics from 1939 to 1941. Selby took over an Otterbein team that had only won one game the season before. After a winless season in his first year and a 3–5 season his second, his team was able to finish the 1941 season with a winning record. He also served as Otterbein's head men's basketball coach from 1939 to 1942. In 1942 he was granted a leave of absence from Otterbein to enter the US Navy, where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He was first stationed in Lakehurst, New Jersey, where he served as a physical training officer with the Atlantic Fleet Air Force. Eventually, he moved on to Naval Air Station in Glenview, Illinois, as Welfare and Recreation Officer. After being discharged from the Navy, he officially resigned as Director of Athletics at Otterbein to accept a job as an assistant football coach at the Ohio State University. He served as an assistant coach for the Buckeyes from 1945 to 1948. In the first two years, he served as assistant line coach and the next two years as the freshman coach. After resigning from coaching, Selby remained in the Columbus, Ohio area and took a position with Equitable Life Insurance. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_T._Selby)
Bluffton - Andrew C. Burcky, (April 18, 1896, Illinois – December 7, 1989; BA - Bluffton, ’22; MA – The Ohio State University, ’40.) A. C. Burcky graduated from BC. in 1922. He began work at the college that fall. From 1922 on through the twenties, thirties and forties, he was a one-man athletic department. He coached football, basketball, baseball, tennis, track, women's basketball and taught all the physical education courses; served as trainer, equipment manager, handled publicity, arrange schedules, drove one of the cars to away games and much more. In 1930, a woman was added to the staff to teach physical education for women; and in 1950, Kenneth Mast was added to the staff to coach football, basketball, and track. Burcky remained the baseball coach into the sixties. In 1962, he was inducted into the NAIA Baseball Hall of Fame and named Faculty Emeritus Professor of Physical Education in 1968 (1922-1968). At Homecoming, 1970, the A. C. Burcky addition to Founders Hall was dedicated in his honor. In 1974 he was a member of the first class into the Bluffton College Athletic Hall of Fame. On March 19, 1987, along with the dedication of the Baseball Field portion of the new Emery Sears Athletic Complex, Burcky threw the first pitch for the opening home game. A.C. Burcky passed away on December 7, 1989 at the age of 93. In his honor Bluffton awards the A.C. Burcky Award to the senior male athlete “who has proven himself to be the most exemplar of all college products.”
Otterbein is in dark uniforms with Bluffton having white patches on shoulders. The game was contested in a cold constant rain. It was Homecoming and the final home game for the Otterbein Cardinals in 1940. Bluffton scored first at the end of the first half, but the Cardinals came back in the second half to win the game 13-6. Rosters are available in the program. For more game details see the Columbus Dispatch articles linked to this page.
“Fraternities Pledge 55 Men at Otterbein,” Columbus Evening Dispatch, October 14, 1940, p. 12B.
“Second Half Rally Brings Victory to Otterbein, 13-6,” Columbus Sunday Dispatch, October 20, 1940, p. 9C.
Otterbein 13- Bluffton 6
Coaches: Otterbein – Sam Selby (OSU ‘31), Bluffton – Andrew C. Burcky (Bluffton ’22)
Otterbein Athletic Field, Otterbein College, Westerville, OH
Game Film # and Reel #
Game Film #1, Reel #34
Archives, "1940 Otterbein College (13) vs. Bluffton University (6) Football Film" (1940). Sports Films 1940's. 4.
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