Crusader Purple Is A Family Tradition In The Dugan Family

HC Sr. LB David Dugan

Nov. 1, 2002

The roots of the Dugan family tree are purple. Holy Cross football and the Dugan family have a growing tradition, starting with John Dugan '65, and continuing with his sons David '03 and Matt '06.

David Dugan (Washington, D.C.) was destined to go to Holy Cross from a very young age. Growing up, David's father told him about the College and its strong family atmosphere.

"My father always wanted me to go to a Jesuit college," stated Dugan. "He always talked about the lifelong friendships he made at Holy Cross."

As David grew and began playing football, his father would regale him with stories about his playing days for the Crusaders.

"He would always talk about one game in particular," Dugan remembered, "the game against Boston College during his junior year."

In the November 30, 1963 match-up, the Crusaders upset the Eagles 9-0 at Fitton Field. Many writers who had watched the Crusaders struggle to a 2-6-1 record that year, likened the HC victory over its Jesuit College arch-rival to the 1942 all-time 55-12 stunner over the Eagles.

The Crusader line, sparked by Dugan '65, Jon Morris '64, Joe Lilly '66, Tom Nissi '65, Bill Marcellino '65, among others, stopped the Eagles and their sparkling quarterback Jack Concannon, cold in the major upset victory. Concannon then went on to start for the Chicago Bears in the NFL.

"He said that it was because of that game that he was chosen as a captain his senior year."

David also remembered his father talk about legendary coach Dr. Eddie Anderson for whom today's most outstanding player in the Family Weekend game trophy is named.

"He always spoke of him in the highest regard," recalled Dugan. "He played for Knute Rockne at Notre Dame, played professional football, and became a medical doctor and a head coach. He really respected him."

David's interest in the school began to grow as he got older. "It seemed that he met all his best friends at college," said Dugan.

When the time came for David to begin looking at places to go to college, he knew where he wanted to go.

"I chose Holy Cross for similar reasons as my dad. I wanted a small, Jesuit college especially after attending a Jesuit high school in Washington D.C. When Coach Fanning contacted me about playing football for Holy Cross, it was settled," said Dugan.

David entered the Class of 2003 at the College and also joined the ranks of the varsity football team. By his sophomore season, Dugan started all 11 games at linebacker and ranked third on the team in tackles with 64.

Last season, Dugan was a First Team All-Patriot League selection, and notched double-digit tackles in six games, including a career-high 15 in the game against Colgate. He also reached the 100 tackles plateau, marking the first time that feat had been reached since 1996.

For those reasons and more, Dugan was chosen as a captain for this year's Crusader squad, 38 years after his father.

"My dad can't get enough of Holy Cross football," stated Dugan, "He never misses a game. He always calls during the week to see how things are going, and how we are preparing. I think he's able to re-live his glory days through Matty and myself. He's very excited and very proud."

During his four years at Holy Cross, David has had plenty of glory days of his own. Last season's Family Weekend game was the highest scoring game in the history of the Patriot League, with Holy Cross defeating Lafayette 63-53. Dugan sealed the victory for the Crusaders when he intercepted a pass and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown.

Dugan also calls this season's win over Division I-A opponent Army, as his favorite Holy Cross football moment.

"The crowd seemed to be on our side. It was just a great atmosphere to win," said Dugan.

With only four games remaining on the schedule after today's game, Dugan knows that his days of wearing the Purple and White on the gridiron are almost over.

"I just want to be remembered for giving my all, and doing everything I could to win. I'm just an average player that hustles every down. Every game is special. I don't care who we are playing, they are all big to me" Dugan said.

David also says that he will make sure the Dugan tradition with Holy Cross continues into the future.

"All my sons will come to school here. They will be playing at Holy Cross and wearing the Purple, just like I did," he said.

If David Dugan has anything to say about it, the purple roots of the Dugan family tree will continue to grow deeper than they already are today.