Crusader Nation

Fall 2016

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Fall 2016 • Crusader Nation 5 Paying it Forward L arry Doyle believes in giving back ... and pay- ing it forward. In fact, the practice could be called his passion. "I con- sider myself fortunate to count many great friends across a 50-plus year time frame," Doyle says, "with the common bond being our love of Holy Cross in general, and Holy Cross Football specifically." Inspired by that sense of profound fellowship, Doyle dedicated himself to found- ing the Gridiron Leadership Council in 2009. The GLC has now been rebranded as The Friends of Cru- sader Football. But Doyle's passion and dedication haven't changed a bit. "I saw a need and a place where I could help," says Doyle. "I grew up on Holy Cross Football. I have fond memories of driving up from the Cape to the games with my family. So, first of all, I wanted to do something to emphasize the history and tradition of Crusader Football. We did this with the 'Ring of Honor' program — the brainchild of Ron Maheu '64, in which we honor the best of the best ever to wear the Purple, with per- manent naming recogni- tion at Fitton Field." Recognition of past greats was only part of Doyle's long-range goals. "While honoring the past," says Doyle, "I wanted simultaneously to engage with the present teams and prepare for the future. So we started a series of receptions, including our annual golf outing. This past year's outing brought together 125 Crusaders to play golf while raising $50,000 for the program." Doyle's devotion to the Crusader cause is shared by his friend and class- mate, Spenser Huston '83, who is equally enthused about the new era of Holy Cross Football. "It's an exciting time on Mount St. James," says Huston. "The ability to compete at a high level at such a prestigious institu- tion is what makes Holy Cross stand out among liberal arts colleges. I think we are right on the verge of breaking out in football to the new glory years. It feels like Nathan Pine, Tom Gilmore, and his staff are focused on consistent improvement and success. Playing Fordham in Yankee Stadium this year could not be more exciting. Taking on BC once again, and Syracuse, and UConn will be great tests for our players — with the goal of consistently being at the top of the Patriot League." As much as Doyle and Huston are concerned with success on the gridiron, they're just as passionate about the success of play- ers after their last game on Fitton Field. Which was the motivation behind what might be the most ambitious support effort from Friends of Crusader Football thus far — the "90-Wide" Program, a mentoring system that has been phenomenally successful. And which continues to expand. "We now have approxi- mately 130 alums serving as formal mentors for our current Crusaders on the Holy Cross Football team. This program has been a grand slam in every regard." 90-Wide connects former Crusader players with cur- rent players right from the get-go. Coaches use the program's success as a re- cruiting tool," says Doyle. "Right from the begin- ning," says Doyle, "I was confident that a formal mentoring program could have a profound impact on everybody involved. Holy Cross alums are giving by nature, but this mentoring takes that giv- ing nature into an entirely new realm. In my opinion, mentoring embodies the true essence of Jesuit values. In fact, I think both mentors and mentees alike would assert that they have gotten far more out of the program than they could ever put in." With friends like Doyle and Huston supporting the program, the future of Crusader Football looks brighter than ever. By Jack O'Connell '81 Larry Doyle '83 & Spenser Huston '83 Larry Doyle and Spenser Houston at the 2016 golf outing at Hopkinton Country Club

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