Today in History: Syracuse University Football Legend, Floyd “Ben” Schwartzwalder, Passes Away

Floyd “Ben” Schwartzwalder

On April 28th, 1993 Syracuse University Football legend, Floyd “Ben” Schwartzwalder, passed away at the age 83. Schwartzwalder, a decorated paratrooper during World War II in the 82nd Airborne Division who was among the first wave of soldiers that jumped at D-Day in 1944, coached the Orange from 1949 through 1973.

Over 25 season, he compiled a 153-91-3 record and led the team an undefeated season in 1959 that included the National Championship.

Coach Ben Schwartzwalder - 1959 Championship

Before joining S.U., Schwartzwalder’s college coaching career was brief. He coached at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania for three seasons, going 27-4. Despite his success, few at S.U. were confident in his ability to turn the program around. When asked about coming to Syracuse, Schwartzwalder famously said, “The alumni wanted a big-name coach. They got a long-name coach.” He went on to coach 22 years of winning seasons and developed some of the most impressive running backs the game has ever seen – Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance, Floyd Little and Larry Csonka.