Sunday, July 5, 2009

Local football coaches honored for single wing formation success

Inductee - Jerry Carle on right

June 26, 2009 - 5:48 PM
Jerry Carle, former football coach at Colorado College, finds it tough to talk about his favored offense.

“You mention single wing and people think you’re running a chicken restaurant,” said Carle, 85, who is retired in Colorado Springs.

Tonight, Carle and former Manitou Springs High coach George Rykovich will be inducted in the National Single Wing Coaches Association Hall of Fame at a dinner in suburban St. Louis.

Rykovich is attending the ceremony. Carle will miss his induction, he said, because of health problems.

The single wing offense is, for most football fans, a relic. The Pittsburgh Steelers were the last NFL to run the offense. The Steelers switched to a new scheme in 1951, when Harry Truman still lived in the White House.

But Carle reached back to the past in 1972 and taught his CC Tigers this ancient, complex attack.

The old/new offense worked. From 1972 to 1977, according to Sports Illustrated, the Tigers finished 46-7-2. Carle coached 33 seasons at CC.

Rykovich was watching these developments not far from the CC campus. In 1979, he installed the single wing at Manitou Springs. The offense worked there, too. From 1985 to 1990, Rykovich led Manitou Springs to a 53-6 record.

Rykovich coached 36 seasons at Manitou Springs. He retired after the 2006 season.


The Gazette - Colorado Springs


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