Chicago DePaul University Academy "Demons"

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DePaul University Academy Building
chicagodepaulacademybldgdav.jpg
Courtesy of Roy G. Kempa, Class of 1963

 

                  The History of Chicago DePaul University Academy

Chicago (population 2.8 million) is in northeastern Illinois in eastern Cook County. Lake Michigan, along with the Chicago and Des Plaines Rivers being the main waterways in the city. Interstates 55, 57, 90, & 94 will all lead you to the "Windy City," as will numerous state and US highways. From what started as a small village in the early 1800’s along the banks of Lake Michigan, Chicago has grown to the nation's third largest city and one of the most famous places in the world, as the result of an ethnically diverse community that adopted the city.

 

DePaul University Academy (also known as DePaul Academy) was opened as an all-boys' prep school to St. Vincent College (now DePaul University) on September 5, 1898 on the city's North Side in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The namesake of the school is St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660), who was the founder of the Congregation of the Mission, a religious community whose members, the Vincentian Fathers of the Western Province, helped establish the school. Both the academy and college opened their doors at the same time with a total of 69 students enrolled.


There was an all-girls' companion school to DePaul Academy called St. Vincent DePaul Academy that had opened previously in 1891, and later changed its name to DePaul High School in 1911 as the university admitted its first female students. But, it was closed in 1921 and merged to become part of Immaculata High School.

 

The all-boys' high school section separated from the university in 1923, and then in 1959, the high school become completely independent of the institution that help found their school. Around that time, the school's enrollment reached its peak at 850 students. Slow-learning students were also admitted to the school in the fall of 1962.

 

As was the case during the late 1960's amid social protest and other changes at the time, Catholic schools were having problems staying open due to the lack of funds. The incoming freshmen admissions were declining, going from 220 in 1961 to 121 in 1967. DePaul Academy decided to close its doors at 2219 North Kenmore after the 1967-68 school year, even though 677 boys were enrolled.

 

Other reasons given for closing were that there were not enough Vincentian priests on the faculty, increasing financial deficits, and the building's condition was deteriorating. 

 

The school building was given back to DePaul University for academic purposes and after being refurbished, it is known today as Byrne Hall.

 

As Roy Kempa supplied to us, one unique story about DePaul is how the school came about its nickname of the "Demons." For some excellent insight on this check out the following web address:

http://news.lib.depaul.edu/news/post/2008/07/How-did-DePaul-get-a-demon-as-a-mascot.aspx

 

 

FACTS ABOUT CHICAGO DEPAUL UNIVERSITY ACADEMY

 

Year opened:                 1898

Year closed:                   1968

School colors:                Scarlet & Blue

School nickname:         "Demons"

School song:                  "On Together"

                                                 Submitted by ROY KEMPA

DePaul Academy Fight Song
chicagodepaulacademyfightsongdav.jpg
Submitted by Roy G. Kempa, Class of 1963

 
 
 
 
On To--gether, on  for---ev--er,

Thru the Raging Bat--tles Roar.

Wave your Ban---ner

Ev--en High--er

Let the Blue and Scar---let Soar.

Shout for Vic--tory

Fight for Victory

Let your Val--or show the Way

While we all stand up,

Cheer De Paul and Fight for D.  P.  A.

ACTIVITIES
 
From information that this writer has gathered, DePaul University Academy did compete in football, basketball, baseball, cross-country, track, and swimming as a charter member of the Chicago Catholic League, beginning in 1913. It is possible that the school may have also offered other sports, such as golf, tennis, boxing, and perhaps wrestling. If anyone knows more about what sports were offered at the school while it was open, we certainly invite you to contact us at the addresses listed at the bottom of this page.
 
FOOTBALL
 
The Blue Demons were competitive on the gridiron and contended for a number of Catholic League titles and the right to play in the Prep Bowl, as evidenced by records presented to us by Tom Sikorski and Robert Pruter. In all, they won 12 league titles!
 
1913         Catholic League Champions
1914         Catholic League Champions
1915         Catholic League Champions
1916         Catholic League Champions
1917         Catholic League Champions
1918         Catholic League Champions
1920         Catholic League Champions

1923 DePaul University Academy football team
footballdepaul23.jpg
Courtesy of Robert Pruter

1928 DePaul University Academy football team
footballdepaul28.jpg
courtesy of Robert Pruter

1929         Catholic League Champions
1930         Catholic League Champions  
1940  6-2  Catholic League North Division Champs!!     Coach Wally McGovern
                 Lost to Leo in Catholic League Championship game. . 
1948  8-2  2nd in Catholic South Division                          Coach Tom O'Brien
                Lost to Fenwick in Catholic League Championship game
1949  6-3                                                                                   Coach Tom O'Brien
1950  7-4  Catholic North Champs!!!                                   Coach Tom O'Brien
                Lost to Mt Carmel in Catholic League Championship game
1951  5-3                                                                                   Coach Tom O'Brien
1953  5-4                                                                                  Coach Tom O'Brien
1955  5-3                                                                                  Coach Tom O'Brien
1956  5-3                                                                                  Coach Tom O'Brien
1957  4-2-1                                                                               Coach Tom O'Brien
1958  7-2-1  Catholic League North Division Champs!! Coach Tom O'Brien
1959  6-2     Catholic League North Champs!!!
1965            Final season - Co-captains John Mullin & Donald Brown                   
                   Last game was an 18-8 win over Holy Trinity 
 
The football program left its mark in the state record books as the result of a contest versus St. Charles on October 14th, 1916. In that game, the Blue Demons won 157-0, scoring 23 touchdowns!
 
Of those 23 touchdowns, 11 of them were talled by Valentine Rock Grundman (a state record), and eight more were scored by player who has been identified as Schneider (no first name given). Grundman also converted 18 points after touchdown for a total of 84 points scored in that contest. Both of those marks are the second-best in a single game by an Illinois gridder.
 
Dennis Coyne - Class of 1964, was an excellent running back and defensive back for the Demons.  Dennis would continue his college football career at Northwestern University.
 
BASKETBALL
 
Although no win-loss records were found and that there is nothing on the IHSA website that would indicate the school won a plaque or trophy in the state tournament series, DePaul did offer this sport. One successful coach that was involved with the school was Frank McGrath, who compiled a record of 364-140 while guiding both De Paul and and fellow Catholic League member Weber. The Demons won nine Catholic League varsity titles, as well as one each for lightweights and juniors.
 
1917-18    Catholic League Champions
1918-19    Catholic League Champions
1923-24    Catholic League Champions
                 Final Standings--Heavyweights          Lightweights
                  DePaul                   12- 2                St. Patrick                     14- 1
                  Loyola                     10- 4                St. Ignatius                   12- 3
                  St. Cyril                      9- 5                Chicago DeLaSalle   10- 4
                  St. Mel                        8- 6               St. Cyril                          10- 5  
                  St. Patrick                  7- 4               St. Rita                             9- 6  
                  Joliet DeLaSalle      6- 5               Loyola                              6- 5
                  Chicago DeLaSalle 6- 5              Joliet DeLaSalle            5- 6 
                  St. Ignatius                6- 5               St. Mel                             5- 6
                  St. Rita                       4- 7               Holy Trinity                      4- 7
                  St. Philip                    2- 9               DePaul                            2- 9 
                  Aquinas                     1-10              Aquinas                          2- 9 
                  Holy Trinity                1-10              St. Philip                         0-11   
1928-29    Catholic League Lightweight Champions

1928-29 DePaul Lightweight Basketball team
basklightdepaul29.jpg
Chicago Catholic League Champs (courtesy of Robert Pruter)

1932-33               Catholic League Champions
1947-48               Catholic League Champions   Coach Frank McGrath

1947-48 Catholic League Champs
depaulhoopsteam4748newspaperdav.jpg
courtesy of Jim Egan

1950-51               Catholic League Champions
1954-55               Catholic League Champions
1958-59    23-6   Catholic League Champions    Coach Ron Feiereisel

1958-59 Chicago Catholic League Champs
chgodepaul1959cclchampsdav.jpg
courtesy of Roger McGill

Roger McGill (class of 1961) tells us about the 1958-59 Catholic Champions:
 
DePaul Academy Wins Catholic Title - The Demons, champions of the North Section, gave no quarter save height to favored Leo Lions at the Loyola University Gym.
 
1st Qt score: 15-8 lead and at halftime we lead again, 29-18 thanks to Jack Carkeek hitting 18 points. The Leo Lions came roaring back in the 3rd quarter, but we still had the lead 38-37 by one point. With 4:48 left in the game, Carkeek hit a two-pointer that gave us a 46-40 advantage. And with just 1:22 left, he hit again to bring the count to a score 50-43. DePaul thus earned the right to meet Marshall's Public League champions for the Chicago prep championship Monday.
 
On this team were the following: Jim O'Donnell - Sr, Jack Carkeek - Sr., Tom Greene - Sr., Tom Seibert, Sr., Bill Heavy, Sr., Joe Reuter, Sr., Frank Joyce - Sr, Dennis Buczynski - Sr., Ron Johnson - Sr.,  Neal Martin -Jr, Ottis Williams - Jr., Ralph Durso - Jr. Bill Phiefer - Jr., Mike Lydon - Jr. Marvin Klebba - So., and Roger McGill, So.
 
On March 23, 1959 DePaul Demons were nipped by Marshall, 70-66 at the old Chicago Stadium for the City of Chicago Championship. Our record for the season was 23-6, and Marshall's record was 25 4. Again, all of the above mentioned names were on DePaul Academy's team.
 
Marshall had George Wilson, 6' 7",  MC Thompson, 6' 5"  (who went on to play at DePaul University for Ray Meyer), Ken Moses 6' 3",  & Gordon Lemmons 6' at guards, and Bob Smith also 6'.
 
At half time we were leading 35-30, again to Bill Heavy and Jack Carkeek shooting. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the score was 51-50 Marshall. Again to outstanding play by all the starting 5 of DePaul Academy.
 
At the end of the game Joe Reuter was the high scorer with 19 points, Bill Heavy 18 points, Tom Seibert's 15 points, Jack Carkeek's 9 points, and Jim O'Donnell's 4 points, and Tom Greene's 1 point. The Demons shot a brilliant .520 from the floor.
 
The Head coach for this team was Ron Feiereisel and said after the game - "These kids of ours didn't quit all season and they weren't going to quit tonight."
 
This informations comes from my articles saved from the Chicago Sun-Times by John Payton, and from the DePaul Prep Vol. 37, No 7 April 14, 1959.
 
1959-60               Catholic League Jr. Champs
1966-67               Catholic League Champions
                                 Chicago City Champions
 
Research conducted by Bill Menard resulted in the submission of the photo below. The photo is of the De Paul Academy "champions" of 1964. We believe the team may have won a tournament consisting of catholic schools only. Included on this team was Dave Hernandez, a highly recruited guard who was quick and dominating. Hernandez would regularly score 30 points in a game. Also on the team was guard George Poulos, who would move on to play basketball for Ray Meyer at DePaul University." 
 
From Joe Puccio regarding this team:
 
"The picture you have on the site is the championship team of the Catholic League...the difference is at that time all Catholic schools had two varsity teams. The team pictured was called the "lights" as the height restriction was 5"8. Poulos and Hernandez also played on the regular team 5'8 and over team and I believe they lost the championship to Mt. Carmel. I remember this well as 1964 was my senior year."
 
Members of the team in the photo below include the following, in order:
 
Back Row, L to R:  J. Kruzel, A. Siemera, S. Hoffman, R. Parra, R. Boutet, J. Kosovich, J. Rowton, C. Stefan
Middle Row, L to R: B. Walsh, J. Wetter, Dave Hernandez, P. Mitchell, George Poulos, T. Aiello, Fr. T. Munster, C.M.
Kneeling, L to R:  G. Van Herik, Nr, J. Fay, H. Hoferle, R. Imburgia, Mr. W. Gleason, Fr. Rechtin, C.M. 

De Paul Academy Basketball Team of 1963
chgodepaulacadchamps1964dav.jpg
Submitted by Bill Menard

From Richard Diaz (class of 1967)....

In 1965, De Paul lost to Mt. Carmel for the Catholic League Championship played at the former De Paul University Alumni Hall. A last second, three-quarter court shot by center Dan Bray was not allowed. Mt. Carmel went on to beat Marshall 68-65 at the Chicago Stadium for the City Championship. De Paul lost to Public League runner-up Du Sable, also at the old Chicago Stadium.

Due to a disturbance after the Marshall loss, the City Championship games were moved to the Chicago Amphitheater and only the students from the schools playing were allowed to attend. De Paul beat Harlan in 1967 to win the City Title.

The interesting thing about the 1965 loss to Mt Carmel: I believe we were down by one point with about 4-5 seconds left. The ball was in-bounded to one of the guards whose whirled around and passed the ball to Bray. I believe Henry Melton set a pick on the man defending the inbound pass and was fouled. However, the ref did not call the foul which would have put Melton on the line for a one-and-one free throw. 

1966-67 Blue Demons
From Philip McGovern, who was a freshman at DePaul during this season:
 
"During the 1966-67 season the Blue Demons accomplished the following:
Winning the Catholic League Championship over Mount Carmel
Winning the City Championship over Harlan
(The City Championship pitted the Catholic League winner against the Public League winner.)
Head Coach:  Bill Gleason
Asst. Coach: Dennis Freund
Some of the players included: Tim Schneider, Al Lathan, Jim Lynch, ? Booker, Joey Meyer
 
CROSS-COUNTRY AND TRACK
 
In gathering information, we did find the school offered these sports to those interested in running over hill and dale as well as the cinder oval. The Blue Demons won nine Catholic League track titles from 1915-1936.
 
Pat Savage served as head coach for both sports from 1966-68 before moving on to St. George, and then later to DePaul University. We are looking for more information about those who may have competed in these sports at the school.
 
1915     Catholic League Champions
1918     Catholic League Champions
1919     Catholic League Champions
1920     Catholic League Champions
1929     Catholic League Champions
1930     Catholic League Champions

1930 Catholic League Champions
trackdepaul30.jpg
courtesy of Robert Pruter

1931     Catholic League Champions
1935     Catholic League Champions
1936     Catholic League Champions
1946     Catholic League Champions
1947     Catholic League Champions
1954     Catholic League Co-Champions
 
From Coach Pat Savage:
 
"Most, if not all, the BB athletes from 1967 ran track and/or XC for me at the Academy. Bill Gleason made everyone come out. DePaul never played in the IHSA in any sport. I know we won some North Side Championships and/or Frosh Soph Titles while I was coach/teaching at the Academy. After St. George closed in 1969 I went to Niles West in Skokie and retired from Teaching in 2002. I still coached part time with my son Danny for a few years there. I also coached at Oakton Community College from 1971-2003. Oakton won the NJCAA National Marathon Championship in 2002."
   
SOFTBALL
 
In an interesting note, DePaul was also part of a Catholic League experiment of offering softball in the spring of 1943, along with St. Philip, Mount Carmel, De La Salle, Loyola, St. George, and St. Rita. Due to the number of rainouts and other reasons, softball was not added as a regular sport beyond that year. 
 
BASEBALL
 
DePaul Academy was also competitive in baseball during the early years of the Catholic League, as it won two of the first five titles that were offered to Catholic boys' schools in Chicago.
 
1915      Catholic League Champions
1917      Catholic League Champions
 
 
FAMOUS ALUMNI
 
DePaul had several football players play at the professional level. They include:
 
Bill Muellner -- After playing collegiately at DePaul University, Muellner appeared on the roster of four teams during the 1937 season. The two-way end was with the former Chicago Cardinals of the NFL, and also played in the American Football League with the Los Angeles Bulldogs, Cincinnati Bengals, and New York Yanks.
 
Bill Steinkemper -- Following his college days at Notre Dame, this tackle was a member on the 1937 Cincinnati Bengals (see above), and later came back to the pros during the 1943 season to help the Chicago Bears win both a division and NFL title.
 
Dick Evans -- The offensive end-defensive back came to the NFL for four seasons as a member of the Green Bay Packers (1940, 1943) and the homestanding  Bears (1941, 1942) via the University of Iowa. He also played professional basketball from 1940-43 and again from 1944-45.
 
Steve Juzwik -- Although his time in the NFL was interrupted for a military hitch due to World War II, the Notre Dame back was a member of the 1942 Washington Redskins, and then had three seasons in the All-American Football League with the Buffalo Bisons (1946-47) and Chicago Rockets (1948).
 
Joey Meyer -- basketball standout and future head coach of the DePaul University mens basketball program.
 
A TRUE AMERICAN HERO:
 
MARIO "MOTTS" TONELLI: We have two links about DPA alumnus Mario "Motts" Tonielli, who later played his collegiate football at Notre Dame and later with the former Chicago (now Arizona) Cardinals. The first incredible link and story was sent to us by Anthony Curran, while the second one comes to us courtesy of another DPA alumnus, Ron Schmidt (class of 1961). We hope that you will take the time to read both amazing stories of one of America's great heroes!!  Please check out the following web addresses:
 
and
 
 
MEMORIES
 
From Joseph Backes (Class of 1967):
 
"I was a 1967 graduate of the Academy, one year prior to closing. I also played basketball for two years so I knew most of the guys on the team. The starting lineup was as follows: Joey Meyer and Tim Schneider at guard; Pat Minogue and Henry Melton at forward; and Al Lathan at center. Dan, not Jim, Lynch was one of the first guys off the bench. The City Championship game was played at the Chicago Amphitheater and we did indeed defeat Harlan for the title. As a matter of fact, Mount Carmel won the third place game against, I believe, DuSable.

We also had a baseball team and one of the guys in our senior class led the city in hitting and was drafted by the Cubs. His name was Marty Miller and he played in the Cubs organization for a few years. His career was very promising until he suffered a major injury. Marty later became a major league scout for various teams.

The school building itself is still standing at the corner of Kenmore and Webster.  It is now part of the DePaul University campus

I hope this information will be of some help to you. Thanks for the memories."

From D.R. Zaccone:

"I don't know if intramural sports are of any interest to you for this wonderful research you are doing for our school, but in the event it has a place in the history of De Paul we had a very active Intramural boxing team.

In the years of 1952, 1953 and 1954 some of the participants were:

Ken Swensen (deceased), Burt Welker (deceased), D.R. Zaccone, the Hernandez brothers, and several others who's names escape me now. Unfortunately my recollection of so few is because they were in my weight class."
 
 
From Dennis Cotter (Class of 1955):
 
Hello: I am a 1955 DPA grad. I was a member of an early inter school bowling team that had some success before  [I think, there may be information available of which I was not aware in 1955?] formal Catholic League Bowling competition became more organized.
 
I personally won the 1955 Chicago Metro Area American Jr. Bowling Congress {AJBC} year end male championship [a male and female award was given at that time] which in those days provided a $500 annual College scholarship funded by the Brunswick Corp. DePaul Academy had two winners of this award in the 1950's. Larry Fronzak, a DePaul senior also won the title in 1953. In 1955, because of my win, I was selected to appear on the Paul Krumski TV show. Paul was a pro bowler of some local and national fame. I still have the letter of invitation, TV script with Q&A's, etc.
 
I do have some first hand knowledge and a few trivia items from the Sept. 1953 to June 1955 era. I also have an extensive collection of DePaul Academy yearbooks from 1925 through 1968.
 
Did you know that the '54-55 Demon basketball team was the Catholic League champions, led by guards, junior Billy Haig and Senior Tom Meier, [not Meyer but Meier] losing the city championship to Marshall HS, who had a great center named Art Day.
 
In the '53-54 basketball season, the Demons with seniors John Cronin and Bill Henry leading the way, lost to Lakeview HS at Chicago Stadium coming in fourth in the city championship series, a great St. Mel team led by Ed Gleason, who later coached basketball at the Academy, upset the Illinois State Champions from DuSable HS, led by guard Paxton Lumpkin, for the city championship.
 
During the '51-54 football seasons the team was coached by Mr. Tom O'Brien and we played all our home games at Lane Tech Stadium.
 
From John Monnier (Class of 1959):
 
In 1957, DPA started a swimming team, taking advantage of the new DPU Alumni Hall swimming pool. There was limited access but a team was initiated. I had the pleasure of serving as captain for the 1959 team. The team was good but did not have great success largely due to very limited practice time in the DPU pool, I think two or three days a week for a couple of hours. There are photos and team member names in the year books which I would be glad to relay. My brother Richard (Dick) was on the team, class of ’60, died in ’67. Great experience for those who participated.
 
From Roger McGill (Class of 1961).....
 
The following are the Class Officer from the Class of 1961 -
 
Bob Rouse - President 
John Mendalla - Vice President
RIch Kellner - Secretary
Roger McGill - Treasurer
 
For President:
Name            Votes
Rouse              74
Kosovich          37
Griffin               33
Pell                  16
Holovaty           11
Miller               13
Braun                9
 
For Vice President
Mendalla          50
Cicero              49
Bassi               45
Carlson            23
Chroba             12
Hennessey       11
Kazmar             3
 
For Secretary
Keller               52
Favoriti             51
Carlson            31
Lipinski            23
Jendras            22
Freiner              9
Kelleher            5
 
For Treasurer
McGill              63
Klebba             49
Lieske              25
Mulcrone          22
Welsch            20
Faust                8
Hanowski          6
 
These elections were taken May 5th in Jr. year, in Fr. Discon's office. In all, 193 votes were cast, which means that only six students did not vote - five of them due to absence. The new Senior Class Officers will also be the Student Council Officers for next year, and will operate in that capacity under Father Discon, the moderator.
 
This came from the DePaul Prep from back in those days.
 
From Chris Radek:
 
My Dad graduated from DePaul Academy in 1968 and played football that year and his junior year of 1967 before getting a football scholarship to John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH, so I know that 1965 was not the last year for football. My Dad’s still alive so I’ll ask him for any details and also I’m pretty sure he might have his junior and senior years yearbooks. I’ll forward anything I can find out to you.
 
From Jim Egan:
 
I attended DePaul for my freshman year and played football. We moved to California the following year. I saw the championship game that we lost to Marshall, 47 to 46. FYI: Bob Schaeffer, a junior on the football team in 1947, made All-State as a guard the following year.
 
From Larry Kaszuba (class of 1965):
 
"I attended DPA from 61 and was part of the 65 graduating class. The 5'-8" and under basketball team was called the Junior Varsity or JV. there is an error in your identity of a person in the 1963 photo. Tom AIELLO is the correct spelling of the guy next to Rev. Thomas Munster. I knew Tom, Jim Kosovich (deceased) and Dave Hernandez as we were in classes together."
 
From Donald Brown (class of 1966):
 
"I happened to look up DePaul on the internet and found the site where your email address was listed with a request for more information about the school. I am a 1966 graduate and could answer a number of questions from the “closing “ era. In fact, I played several sports there.

 

"I was the last quarterback on the football team and was co-captain with Jack Mullin our senior year (1965 season), and played in the last game, a win over Holy Trinity at Lane Tech. It was advertised as Holy Trinity’s last game, but it was actually both schools’ last game as DePaul decided/announced that it was dropping football several months later. That was the beginning of the end for the school."

 
THE "HELP WANTED" SIGN IS OUT...
 
...to help us gather more about the history of DePaul University Academy. We are particularly interested in finding out more about sports and other activities that the school may have been involved in. If you have anything, please contact us:
 
 
by USPS: Illinois High School Glory Days
                6439 North Neva
                Chicago, IL  60631