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John McEwan


John James McEwan

Inducted 1962

Date of Birth



Alexandria, MN


United States Military Academy (1913-1916)


John McEwan was an innovator among players of the early days of the 20th Century, pioneering the spiral center-snap and introducing a primitive version of the defensive rover-back to Eastern football. Upon graduation from West Point in 1917, McEwan was hailed as the greatest football center the U.S. Military Academy ever had. Walter Camp labeled him first-team All-America in 1914. The next two years he was a second-team choice. As a senior, McEwan was elected team captain by his Cadet teammates. Tim Cohane, longtime sports editor of Look Magazine and author of "Gridiron Grenadiers", described McEwan thusly: "Big Mac, in his prime, weighed from 195 to 205 and stood 6 feet, 4 inches tall. He was built like a heavyweight fighter. His broad shoulders tapered down to slim hips and comparatively thin legs, which brought him frequent but not inactivating knee injuries." McEwan was unusually fast for a man of his size and became known for his ability to cover large areas of the field while exhibiting a tremendous tackling and blocking prowess. Seven years after his graduation, he returned to West Point as head football coach. During his three coaching seasons, his Army teams rolled to an 18-5-3 record. He went on to coach Oregon, Holy Cross and the professional Brooklyn Dodgers.


Height 6'4

Weight 200

Career Highlights

  • 1919 Second Team All-America
  • 1915 Second Team All-America
  • 1914 Consensus All-America
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