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Dean College football team with cheerleaders in 1944

Have you ever wondered about the history that lies on the Dean College campus? In the coming weeks, we will be sharing interesting facts about the history that set the foundation for Dean College today. 

Dean started its athletic program in the 1890s and, at every step in its history, has enjoyed much success on and off the playing field. Read on for 5 historical facts about the Dean College athletics. 

  1. A Dean Academy graduate was deemed “the fastest sprinter who ever lived.” Dean Academy graduate, Richard Perry (R.P.) Williams, was named ‘the fastest sprinter who ever lived’ in the early 1900s, with multiple recordings of 9 seconds flat for the 100-yard dash. 
  2. Dean College baseball has a rich history. Dean's baseball history includes a Hall of Fame catcher, Gabby Hartnett, and the first major leaguer to die in combat during World War l, Eddie Grant. Gabby Hartnett was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame 1955 and was the catcher during the historic moment Babe Ruth called the shot during the 1932 World Series. Eddie Grant was one of the first men to enlist when the United States entered World War I in April 1917, and he served as a captain in the 77th Infantry Division.  
  3. Athletic apparel was different in the early years. Women’s basketball uniforms consisted of dresses and bows. Check out the media gallery below for a look at what the baseball team was wearing in 1890 and the football team in 1947! 
  4. Dean has a history of champions. Dean's men's soccer team went undefeated in 1961-1962 and won the National Championship. Our football team had huge wins in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Learn more about our championship athletic history.
  5. The Boston Celtics once played at Dean. Louis Pieri, a graduate of Dean and former member of the board of trustees, was once a co-owner of the Boston Celtics. Dean’s gymnasium was named after Pieri in the 1960s. It was during this time that Pieri brought the Celtics to play in the gym’s dedicatory basketball game featuring Bill Russell, who is regarded by many as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. 

Check back next week for more historical facts and in the meantime learn more about the history and mission of Dean College. 

Historic facts provided by Alex Feuz ˈ22 with guidance from Dean College Professor of History, Dr. Rob Lawson. 

About Alex: Alex is a sophomore Sports Broadcasting major with a passion for the history of Dean College. He is looking forward to sharing stories of Dean that will last a lifetime.