Captain of Fordham's 'Seven Blocks of Granite' dies

Updated: December 29, 2005, 8:49 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- John Druze, the last surviving member and captain of Fordham's famed "Seven Blocks of Granite," has died. He was 91.

Druze died Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz., of natural causes, Fordham said Thursday.

Druze, an end and kicker, was the captain of Fordham's 1937 team that went 7-0-1, the school's last undefeated season. A native of Irvington, N.J., he was inducted into the Fordham University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1974.

In 1936 and 1937, Druze teamed with Al Babartsky, Vince Lombardi, Alex Wojciechowicz, Nat Pierce, Ed Franco and Leo Paquin to form the second version of Fordham's famed "Seven Blocks of Granite" under coach Jim Crowley. The line coach on those teams was Frank Leahy, later the head coach at Notre Dame.

Druze played briefly for the NFL's Brooklyn Dodgers before starting his coaching career in 1939 on Leahy's staff at Boston College. In 1941, Druze moved to Notre Dame when Leahy took over the Fighting Irish.

After serving in the Navy in World War II, Druze returned to Notre Dame. He left the Irish to become Marquette's head coach in 1956 and stayed at the school until it dropped football following the 1960 season. He then became a salesman for the Denver-Chicago Trucking Company, a position he held until his retirement at 62.

Druze is survived by his wife of 63 years, Rose; two daughters, Dottie and Jody (Faker); six grandchildren; John, Shannon, Erin, and Ryan Campbell; and Travis and Nicole Faker; and two great-grandchildren; Austin Campbell and Brady Campbell-Kulla.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press