OTTO GRAHAM HALL OF ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE
The Otto Graham Hall of Athletic Excellence opened on Sept. 29, 2016 in the renovated Billard Hall at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.
This space now tells the story of the Academy’s great teams, Hall of Fame athletes, and pioneers of men and women’s sports, through storyboards and technology-aided reviews of all Academy NCAA varsity, club and intramural sports.
HALL OF EXCELLENCE PHOTO GALLERY -- CLICK HERE
In 1959 Otto Graham accepted the Head Coach and Athletic Director position at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Just four years prior he had completed a successful football career as quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, leading them to the league championship 10 years straight and winning seven of them.
As head football coach at the Academy, he led the 1963 Bears to their first and only undefeated and untied regular season and a coveted trip to a National Bowl game, the Tangerine Bowl. He was inducted intoPro Football Hall of Fame in 1965, where his #14 jersey rests next to his Hickok Belt, awarded to the world’s top professional athlete. He was recruited as head coach and general manager for the Washington Redskins in 1966 and three years later returned to the Academy as athletic director, where he coached football for several years and retired in 1985 as a Coast Guard captain.
ATHLETIC HALL OF EXCELLENCE FEATURES
Team's such as the first undefeated football team, the volleyball and men's basketball teams that advanced to the Elite Eight in 2008, or the 2016 National Champion women's sailing team, the Academy's tradition of athletic excellence is on display throughout the Hall.
It also includes artifacts such as a space flight suit worn by Coast Guard's first astronaut, Capt. Bruce Melnick (CGA '72) and a golf club and shoes worn by the late Arnold Palmer, a former Coast Guardsman.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE OPENING NIGHT OF THE HALL OF ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE -- CLICK HERE