Reporter Jim Owczarski talked to Benet Academy athletic director Gary Goforth, who retired as head football coach after the 2009 season. Goforth coached new Chicago Bears quarterback Dan LeFevour during his time at Benet.
Upon being drafted by the Bears in the sixth round Saturday, LeFevour joins Steve Baumgartner (Benet class of 1969) as the second Redwing with a chance to play in the NFL. The program's football history dates back to 1949 as St. Procopius (the school became Benet Academy in 1967) and it is believed that heading into this draft Baumgartner is the school's only alumnus to play in the NFL.
Baumgartner was drafted out of Purdue 51st overall by the New Orleans Saints in the second round of the 1973 draft. He would eventually be traded to the Houston Oilers midway through the 1977 season. He retired after the 1979 season at the age of 28. Baumgartner started 27 of his 95 career games.
He was drafted ahead of such notables as Hall of Famer Dan Fouts, 1977 Super Bowl MVP & Defense Player of the Year Harvey Martin and former Chicago Bears head coach Dick Jauron.
LeFevour would be the first Benet player who played under Gary Goforth to be drafted into the NFL.
Q: Are you surprised he'll be drafted into the NFL?
A: The college success made it a little less surprising, what he was able to do in his four years of actual playing time. You look at physical attributes in terms of size and weight, good speed for a quarterback. You never know about arm strength, you never know about how they understand the game. You know, (Dan) Marino - I look back at all the guys who were fifth-round draft choices and Dan Marino was one of them. You never know where people are going to go and what people look for and sometimes it's better to be drafted in the later rounds because the pressure is not on to succeed immediately. The only difference is you've got the huge contract in the first couple rounds. But you've still got to earn it; you've still got to play when you get there. I knew he could be good at the college level. How good? You never know.