Donald Walter Holleder
Donald Walter Holleder

Class of 1956

In perhaps the ultimate indication of a true team player, Don Holleder yielded his role as a first-team All-American end in 1954 to become Army's starting quarterback in 1955. Honoring a request from legendary coach Earl "Red" Blaik, Holleder switched positions to fill the void created by the graduation of three-year standout signal caller Pete Vann.

In 1954, Holleder had led the Black Knights with 17 receptions for 495 yards. But, four games into the 1955 campaign, and with Army saddled with a 2-2 record, critics had dubbed the shifting of Holleder as "Blaik's Folly." However, the move ultimately paid dividends as Black Knights won four of their final five games and notched a critical 14-6 season-ending win over arch-rival Navy in the process.

A three-year letterwinner on the gridiron, Holleder also earned three letters in basketball. He led the hardwood squad in rebounding (9.3 rpg.) as a junior in 1954-55.

Holleder was presented with the Nelson Award in 1955, given to the player who "by his conduct on the gridiron, demonstrates a high esteem for the football code and exemplifies sportsmanship to an outstanding degree." Holleder, a highly respected leader who had attained the rank of Major, was killed in action in Vietnam in October 1967. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985.