Members of the 1963 Memphis Tiger football team, and assorted players from that era, will gather in Memphis Sept. 6-7 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their undefeated season. The team will be introduced to fans during the Memphis-Duke season opener at Liberty Bowl Stadium.
The 1963 roster was filled with names of legendary players who helped carry Coach Billy J. Murphy's squad to an undefeated and a 14th place national ranking in the season's final poll. The lone blemish on the '63 schedule, if it could be called a blemish, was a 0-0 tie against No. 3 ranked Ole Miss at Crump Stadium in Memphis. Ole Miss was the defending National Champions.
To date, 36 former Tiger players from the early 1960s have responded that they are planning to attend events that weekend. Included in the group are All-American tight end Chuck Brooks, quarterback punter Olie Cordill, linebacker John Bramlett, defensive linemen Richard Adragna, Richard Saccoccia and Bob Finamore, quarterback Billy Fletcher, offensive linemen Don McKinnon, Dick Quast and ends Bob Sherlag, Reg Sharley and Wiley Patterson.
There are as many as 12 members of the 1963 squad who have passed away, including quarterback Russell Vollmer, fullbacks Dave Casinelli and John Wallace Wright, tailback Butch Travis, linemen Bill Scott, Bob Mathes, Ray Barnes, John Fred Robilio, John "Jumbo" Evans, Harry Day and All-American tackle Harry Schuh.
Four coaches from the 1963 season have been invited to attend. The group includes Roger French, Tom Morris, James "Red" Hoggatt and Larry Wright.
Plans call for a team dinner on Friday evening, a tour of the University of Memphis "Penny" Hardaway Hall of Fame on Saturday morning, a pre-game meal and gathering of former letterwinners in the M Club tent prior to kickoff, introduction of the squad and family members during the game and an event later that evening.
Tickets remain on sale for the season opener between the Tigers and the Duke Blue Devils and can be purchased by going on line at gotigersgo.com or by calling the ticket office at 678-2331. Game time is set for 3:30 PM at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.