March 7, 2013
Bronx, N.Y. -
The Fordham University football program lost one of its greats on Wednesday with the passing of Hall of Famer Alan Pfeifer, FCRH '51, in Woodland Hills, California. He was 84.
After an outstanding high school career where he earned two All-State honors in football and one in baseball, Pfeifer, who was tabbed "Hasbrouck Heights Hand", enjoyed a record-setting collegiate career at Fordham. A sturdy and acrobatic end for the football Rams, he caught 35 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns during their impressive season of 1950, on his way to earning Catholic All-American status and a spot on the prestigious North-South All-Star game along with Ram quarterback Dick Doheny.
As a junior in 1949, Pfeifer set an Eastern Football Conference record with 38 receptions, a mark that also stood as the Fordham record.
Pfeifer finished his collegiate career with 95 receptions for 1346 yards and 16 touchdowns, all school records.
"Al was one of the best receivers in college football at the time," said former Fordham teammate Andy Lukac, who served as a team captain for the 1950 team that went 8-1. "Al and Dick Doheny were a formidable quarterback-wide receiver combination who was a big part of our success in 1950."
Following graduation, he was drafted by the New York Giants before opting to play with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. He had a successful career with the Argonauts, playing on the 1951 team as well as the 1953, 1954, 1955 and 1956 squads.
He finished his first year in Toronto with 43 catches for 799 yards, earning All-Pro honors, but missed the 1952 season as he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
Pfeifer returned to the Argonauts in 1953, and became Toronto's top receiver in 1954, setting team records and leading the league with 68 receptions for 1,142 yards. He bettered both records the following year, catching 75 passes for 1,342 yards, while also setting a team mark with 15 touchdowns, all in only 12 games.
In 1956, Pfeifer further upped his single season reception total to 78, for 993 yards.
Overall, Pfeifer compiled 299 career catches for 4,726 yards in Toronto, leaving with team records for most 100-yard games (17) in a career and in a single season (eight). He played one last season in Ottawa in 1957.
Pfeifer was inducted into the Fordham Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989 and was named to the Toronto Argonauts All-Argonaut Team - Modern Era (1945-1973).
Pfeifer is survived by his wife, Barbara, their two daughters, Mary and Linda, and son Ross.