Getting to Know … Edwards resident Judd Babcock
For Judd Babcock, its all about the team.Last month, the Edwards real estate broker was inducted into the Washington & Lee University Athletic Hall of Fame, along with the rest of the legendary 1960 and 1961 teams.Just five years before that, in 1955, the football team was atrocious, to be kind.The team didnt win a single game that season, scoring just four touchdowns the entire year. One game they managed just three yards of total offense. The following year wasnt much better, with the team winning just one game. The University fired coach Bill Chipley, saying he was let go because he was not a good teacher of football.Coach Lee McLaughlin took control of the program, and cobbled together a team that didnt have a single scholarship player on the roster.Babcock was a middle linebacker and guard for Washington & Lee in 1960, when the team went undefeated, with just one tie. The following year, the team didnt lose a single game, and was the focus of a Sports Illustrated feature. In 1962, they won the College Athletic Conference Championship with an 8-1 record.Babcock set aside a few minutes to talk about the team, and the memories hes carried since those three unbelievable seasons.
Judd Babcock: I think my best memory of the team is that we had a good group of guys … You have to remember, we were all just going to college and you dont really know anybody, and no one on the team knew one another at the beginning either, so the first thing is that everyone kind of made friends, and you become friends with your teammates.I got there as a freshman, and our freshman year we actually got to go on the bench and watch the varsity games, but varsity wasnt really winning that year. So our sophomore year was our first year as varsity players, so in that year, in 1960, we went undefeated, but we had a tie. The team in 1961 was undefeated and untied, but the fact that we were winning in the beginning, and no one really expected us to do much of anything at all, was so exciting, and the coach just got everyone involved. We were just sophomores, and the seniors were expecting us to step up, and we did. So the camaraderie was just incredible. And our coach was a little religious, so wed say a prayer before the game, and then wed sing the Washington & Lee swing, and so the coach just built up this incredible synergy that made things so exciting.
JB: It was such an unusual event, these three years that we had an incredible team like that. Todays world is so much different probably none of us could even get into Washington & Lee now. (Laughs) Its so hard to get into, so thats probably another reason why it may not happen.But youve got to go out and find the coach to do it. Every once in a while though, you can get a guy like Bill Shanahan, and hell bring a couple Super Bowls. I think its all a matter of the stars all coming together.I think it would be difficult, but I think its even harder because … (its) become so tough to get into these non-subsidized schools. And the schools that are subsidized are going after any good player they can find, so for a non-subsidized school it gets even harder. It was a very unique and unusual situation. Vail Daily writer Nathan Rodriguez at 970-748-2955 or email@example.com.