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Ball State to Honor Two of Its Finest Teams

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Head coach Pete Lembo and the 2014 Ball State Cardinals will try to emulate the success of the 1964 and 1989 Cardinals teams that will be honored this fall. Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images.
Head coach Pete Lembo and the 2014 Ball State Cardinals will try to emulate the success of the 1964 and 1989 Cardinals teams that will be honored this fall. Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images.


With expectations high for the 2014 Ball State Cardinals, this fall the university will commemorate a pair of anniversaries of memorable seasons in its football program’s long history.

During the Cardinals’ Sept. 13 home game against Indiana State, members of the 1964 team will be honored, while the 1989 squad will mark 25 years since its Mid-American Conference championship season with an on-field tribute on Oct. 11 when Ball State hosts Western Michigan.

Fifty years later, the ’64 team represents one of the best chapters of Ball State’s half-century of small-college competition. It won the Indiana Collegiate Conference, marking the program’s second-ever league title and first in 22 seasons. 

Led by running back Jim Todd and future Major League Baseball player Merv Rettenmund, the ’64 Cardinals posted a 5-3 record. It was the third consecutive winning mark for head coach Ray Louthen, who would guide the Cardinals to a pair of bowl games in the next three seasons.

Members of the team will attend a lunch buffet hosted by the Ball State Alumni Association at 1:30 p.m., followed by kickoff at Scheumann Stadium at 3 p.m.

Four weeks later, the ’89 team will take center stage. This edition of the Cardinals posted a 7-3-2 record - including a 6-1-1 mark in the MAC - to edge out Eastern Michigan and Toledo by a half game for the conference crown. It was the program’s third MAC title since joining the league in 1973 and first in 11 years.

Quarterback David Riley tallied more than 1,900 passing yards and 13 touchdown passes along with a trio of rushing touchdowns as he became the first Ball State player to be named the MAC’s Most Valuable Player. Head Coach Paul Schudel was named the conference’s Coach of the Year, an honor he would earn again in 1993. He was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

The ’89 Cardinals earned the program’s first-ever Division I bowl bid, dropping the California Raisin Bowl to Fresno State, 27-6.

The team started its anniversary festivities by being honored at the Ray Louthen Memorial Alumni Golf Outing in early June. BSU also held a 20th anniversary recognition event for the ’89 team in 2009.