Agase is without doubt the first Assyrian to gain fame as an athlete in
the United States of America. Agase was born and raised in Evanston, IL.
and went to the University of Illinois in 1941 where he became one
of the greatest guards in Big Ten history. He has the rare distinction
of becoming an all-American at two Big Ten schools.
made All-America at Illinois in 1942 and made headlines in the third
game of that season. He caused and recovered two fumbles for touchdowns
to lead underdog Illinois, to 20-13 victory over a Minnesota team that
had won the last two national championships.
War II interrupted his career somewhat. He was sent to O.C.S (Officer
Candidate School) at Purdue where he played football while earning his
commission and was again named all-American in 1943. After receiving his
commission as lieutenant, he was sent to the Pacific Theater of War. He
engaged in the battle of Okinawa where he won a Purple Heart among his
the war, he returned to Illinois to complete his education. this time he
not only made All-America, but was selected as the Big Ten's Most Valuable
Player while leading the Illinois to the Big Ten championship in 1946.
that title came a bid to the Rose Bowl, the first in the new contract between
the Big Ten and the Pac Ten. UCLA was the Pac Ten Champion. The Bruins
did not to play Illinois, they felt they'd rather play No. 1 ranked Army
for a chance at the national championship.
were lucky they didn't play Army. Illinois walloped UCLA 45-14. Also on
that Illinois team was another Agase,
Alex's younger brother Louis.
Alex and Lou were instrumental in the win as were other greats such as
Buddy Young, Julie Bykovich, Perry Moss Ruck Steger.
College, Alex played pro ball with the Cleveland Browns before going
into coaching. He teamed up with Ara Parseghian and together they revived
the Northwestern program in the 1960s and 1970s.
left Northwestern for Notre Dame and Alex was the head coach at
the Evanston school from 1964 through 1972. His 1970 and 1971 teams finished
second in the Big Ten. He returned to pursue as head coach from 1973-1976.
After that he was athletic director at Eastern Michigan for five
years and then as an assistant coach at Michigan before the 1947 Illinois
team after Alex had graduated and then became an assistant coach at Illinois.
Lou also served as a head coach for Toronto in the Canadian Football
Recognitions & Awards
1943-1946 U.S. Marines - Awarded Purple Heart-Bronze Star
1942-1943 All American - Illinois
1943 All American - Purdue
1946 BIG TEN - Most Valuable Player
1947-1953 NFL Professional Football - Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts
1963 Inducted into National College Hall of Fame
1964-1972 Head Coach at Northwestern University
1970 Football Writers - National Coach of the Year
1973-1976 Head Coach at Purdue
1977-1982 Athletic Director Eastern Michigan University
1982-1988 Assistance Coach - University of Michigan
All Time Teams - University of Illinois & Purdue University
Diamond Anniversary ALL BIG TEN SELECTION
Chicago Medal of Merit Recipient
Chicago Sportsman of the Year
Alex Agase passed away
at the age of 85 in 2007 but not before leaving behind a great legacy in
college football and his home town
an anonymous Assyrian Sports Columnist
Forwarded by Mr. Paul D. Newey of