by Lucile Peck
1991 Morrow County Chronicles, Volume X
Morrow County Historical Society
A full page article in The Oregon Stater dated April 1991 is devoted to Dallas Ward, a native of Lexington. He "coached Colorado from 1948-59, is the person given most credit for bringing Colorado into national football prominence" Prior to that, however, he attended OSU [Oregon State University] (entering at age 17) and a list of a few of his accomplishments is in order.
All-Time All Star OAC Team
All Pacific Coast Conference End
Phi Kappa Phi, scholastic honorary
Scabbard and Blade, military honorary
Sigma Alpha, physical honorary
Kappa Delta Epsilon, education honorary
Student body vice-president
President, Phi Delta Theta fraternity
"As an Oregon State athlete, Ward is best remembered as one of the senior stars of Coach Paul Schisslerís 1926 team that still ranks as one of the best in Beaver history. Posting a 7-1 record, its only loss at the hands of Stanford, Oregon State defeated a powerful California team 27-7 on the road, then handed the Oregon Ducks a 16-0 drubbing in the mud at OACís old Bell Field. The season closed with a 29-0 Thanksgiving Day victory over heavily favored Marquette at Milwaukee Wisconsin. Marquette was ranked as one of the best in the Midwest that year, and the final outcome was its worst defeat ever."
After graduation in 1927, he taught in Minneapolis and became head coach at Marshall High in 1928. In 1936, head coach Bernie Bierman of Minnesota, invited Ward to join his staff. During WWII he served as officer-in-charge of physical and military training at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Dallas, Texas. After the war, he returned to Minnesota as Bierman's backfield coach. In 1948, he became head coach at Colorado. "Dal Ward, more than any one man, took the Buffs from relative obscurity into national prominence...that earned him recognition as one of the top football coaches in the nation."
Dallas Ward was born August 11, 1906 to Bert and Ola Ward. He attended first grade at the Eightmile School. In 1913, he entered school in Lexington. When he was twelve, he hired out to Ralph Jackson, who was a farmer in the Social Ridge area, and from that time he never missed a harvest as long as he lived in Oregon. An item from The Bunchgrassers by Sam McMillan follows: "Heppner and Lexington were rivals on the football field. It was in 1921 that Heppner came to Lexington in force determined to defeat and bury the Lexington team, but received a 48-14 shellacking instead. Heppner brought with them a hearse and casket in which to bury Lexington. The hearse was parked at the edge of town to be ready to arrive on the scene at the proper moment. Receiving the news in the last quarter that it was the Heppner team that was being buried, the driver of the hearse turned around, beating a hasty retreat back to Heppner." Lexington never lost a game during the years Dal was on the team.
He died in Boulder, Colorado in 1983.
Copyright © 1991 Morrow County Historical Society
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