Oct. 15, 2009
The University of Dayton's 1989 NCAA Division III national championship team will be inducted as a unit into the UD Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday when the Flyers host Davidson. This is the 20th anniversary season of that team's 13-0-1 campaign that culminated with a 17-7 win over Union in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl.
More than 50 members of the team and their families are expected to be in attendance this weekend. They will attend the Varsity D's annual football reunion tailgate for all former football players before the game, be introduced at halftime of the football game, and then be honored by the University at an invitation-only reception at UD Arena.
The 1989 Flyer champions earned an impressive array of awards. Head coach Mike Kelly was named the Kodak/AFCA College Division National Coach of the Year. Defensive tackle Lou Loncar was chosen as the Division III national defensive Player of the Year. Offensive tackle Pat DiGiacomo, a co-captain with Loncar, was a First Team All-American. Placekicker Mike Duvic and fullback Kevin Hofacre were also named first Team All-Americans.
Apart from the 23-23 tie at then-Division II Butler, the Flyers rolled through the regular season with an average winning margin of 34 points. The early rounds of the playoffs were much the same as the Flyers brushed aside John Carroll 35-10, Millikin 28-16 and a highly-hyped St. John's of Minnesota team 28-0.
The championship game in Phoenix City, Ala. was won on the defensive side of the ball. Union scored the first touchdown of the game, but after that it was all Dayton on the scoreboard.
Loncar was in the Union backfield all day long, and was credited with two sacks and six solo tackles. Linebacker Randy Robison was named the game's Most Valuable Player after making seven solo tackles and ten assisted hits. Defensive tackle Robert Christy, cornerback Jon Husted and safety Sean Kenneally each had an interception.
Offensively, quarterback Dan Sharley scored both of UD's touchdowns on short runs. He was also 8-of 14 passing for 113 yards with six of the completions to wideout Bill Franks.
In addition to the team's post season awards, Sharley set the Flyer single-season school record for pass completion percentage (.602, since broken), Hofacre equaled the school's single-season touchdown record (26), Duvic became the school's all-time career scoring leader (326 points) and Franks set the school mark for receptions in one season (55, since broken).
The 1989 Flyer football team is the University's third national championship team to be inducted into the UD Athletic Hall of Fame. The '89 champs join the 1980 women's basketball team and the 1980 Flyer football team in the Hall.