Legends of ’94: The Oral History

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Unbeaten, Unstoppable, Uncrowned
An Oral History of the 1994 Penn State Football Team

Twenty years ago this fall, in just their second season of conference play, the Nittany Lions put together one of the greatest seasons in Big Ten history. They did so with one of the most dynamic offenses ever seen, a star-laden group full of play-makers and future pros. They did it with style, running off a string of blowouts and, on those rare occasions it was necessary, pulling off memorable late-game heroics. They did it with a gritty, overlooked defense and a veteran coaching staff that adapted perfectly to the talent on hand.

To mark the 20th anniversary of Joe Paterno’s last undefeated team, we’re proud to present the definitive oral history of the 1994 Penn State football team. Based on interviews with nearly 30 former Lions—players, coaches, and staff—it’s their story, in their words…

Part 1 goes back to the roots, following the recruiting classes of 1990 and ’91 as they mature from talented prospects into proven leaders who will provide the foundation for greatness.

Part 2 kicks off with the ’94 Citrus Bowl, where an upset of Tennessee hints at the success to come; after an offseason of cohesion and commitment, Penn State opens the ’94 season in dominating fashion; and a closer look at the diverse cast of characters who make up the Lions’ all-time-great offensive line.

Part 3 opens with Penn State’s first ever trip to the Big House, an epic occasion that lives up to the hype; an injury-plagued and overlooked defense shows a knack for answering the call; a Homecoming romp over some cupcake from Columbus; and getting to know the historic collection of skill players who combine for what might’ve been the most unstoppable offense in college football history.

Part 4 goes on the road with a blowout that wasn’t in Bloomington, then travels to Champaign for a crazy hotel stay and a comeback for the ages.

Part 5 marks Penn State’s long-awaited return to Pasadena, and the bittersweet end to a perfect season; dreams of a 1-2 matchup to decide the true champs; and weighing the evidence: best offense ever?

Thanks to each of the 29 former Lions we spoke to (listed below) for sharing their time and stories, and special thanks to Wally Richardson ’96 Lib, ’03 MEd Edu, director of the Football Letterman’s Club, for his help in tracking down so many of his former teammates.  —Ryan Jones ’95 Com

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The Players
Mike Archie ’96 H&HD
, tailback; Todd Atkins ’96 H&HD, defensive end; Kyle Brady ’95 H&HD, tight end; Ki-Jana Carter ’95 Bus, tailback; Kerry Collins ’94 Lib quarterback; Keith Conlin ’95 Lib, ’08 MEd, offensive tackle; Brett Conway ’00 H&HD, kicker; Bobby Engram ’95 H&HD, wide receiver; Marlon Forbes ’94 Lib, cornerback; Paul “Bucky” Greeley, ’94 H&HD, center; Jeff Hartings ’95 Bus, offensive guard; Kim Herring ’97 H&HD, safety; Terry Killens ’04 Com, linebacker; Chris Mazyck ’94 Lib, defensive tackle; Brian Milne ’96 Lib, fullback; Brandon Noble ’98 Lib, defensive tackle; Chuck Penzenik ’97 H&HD, safety; Tony Pittman ’95 Eng, ’02 MBA, cornerback; Stephen Pitts ’96 Com, tailback; Marco Rivera ’95 Lib, offensive guard; Brad Scioli ’98 H&HD, defensive end; Freddie Scott ’96 Lib, wide receiver; Vincent Stewart ’94 Lib, defensive tackle

The Coaches
Tom Bradley ’78 Bus
, linebackers; Craig Cirbus, offensive line; Fran Ganter ’71 H&HD, ’73 MEd Edu, offensive coordinator; Kenny Jackson ’96 Bus, wide receivers

The Managers
Brad “Spider” Caldwell ’86 H&HD
, equipment manager; Kirk Diehl ’96 Com, ’05 MEd Edu, student manager


For more on the The Football Letter, including online archives (requires Alumni Association member log-in), click here.

Not yet an Alumni Association member? Click here.

 

5 thoughts on “Legends of ’94: The Oral History

  1. Pingback: Roundup: Dating Naked Cast Member Sues Show; Talib Kweli Goes Off on CNN; Meet Mr. Met - sportsfour.net

  2. Pingback: Roundup: Dating Naked Cast Member Sues Show; Talib Kweli Goes Off on CNN; Meet Mr. Met | Sports Discovery

  3. I’ve always thought that the slogan for this team and the ’94 season should have been “Roses for the Bridesmaid.” –Tom Kontos, ’81 (BS), ’83 (MS) Mineral Economics

  4. Only bridesmaids in the minds of the voters, Tom, as I’m sure you’d agree.

  5. Pingback: Twenty Years On, Still Perfect | The Penn Stater Magazine

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