| Detroit Free Press
Michigan Town’s Mel Tucker on what Spartans fans deserve to see
New Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker did not reveal much, or a depth map, during Tuesday’s press conference to preview his debut vs. Rutgers.
Tom Yewcic, a member of Michigan State Football’s 1953 Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl winning team and Spartans’ 1954 College World Series baseball team, is dead. He was 88.
The New England Patriots, for whom Yewcic played and trained, published the news of his death.
The 2003 inductee of the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame was known for his “Transcontinental Pass”, a touchdown throw from the half-back position of Al Dorow, who helped Spartans No. 1 defeat No. 7 Ohio State in 1951 when they earned a share of the national title. Native in Conemaugh, Pennsylvania, moved to quarterback the next two seasons and became an American in 1952, leading MSU to another national championship that season.
In 1953, the Spartans’ first year in the Big Ten, Yewcic then set single-season records for passing (941) and scoring (1788) yards as MSU shared the league title and went on to defeat UCLA in the Rose Bowl after the season.
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Yewcic’s Spartan football team went 27-1 in the three seasons under Biggie Munn. MSU was number 2 in the AP poll in 1951, No. 1 in 1952 and No. 3 in 1953.
As a catch for John Kobs’ ‘Spartans’ baseball team in 1954, Yewcic led them to a Big Ten title and won the MVP for the College World Series, the program’s only appearance. The Tigers signed baseball all-american after that season, and he played in a major league game for them in 1957. His baseball career was interrupted by a period in the Army in 1955.
After two more years in the minor leagues, Yewcic returned to football in 1960. After a season with the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League, he joined the Boston Patriots of the American Football League in 1961 and spent six seasons with them as a punter. and QB. He started six games at QB, passing in 1,374 yards with 12 TDs and 12 interceptions. As a punter, Yewcic averaged 38.6 yards on 377 career attempts.
Yewcic’s playing career ended in 1966, and he was to become a position coach in the Patriots organization from 1967-68 and again from 1973-81. He also trained at Holy Cross and Rhode Island.
Yewcic remained in Arlington, Massachusetts, became a partner in a medical surgery company and was heavily involved in charity work. He was killed by his wife, Jane, and is survived by their two children and three grandchildren.