1960s

Coach Keith Harris arrived for the start of the 1959 season, bringing needed leadership and routine to the Ravens squad. He began the Monday night "horror movie" tradition where films of previous games were picked apart and analyzed. Primitive but effective recruitment strategies picked young men from the registration lines in September. The 1960s also saw the first football training camps, where tactical knowledge and skills, along with kinship, were developed. The players did odd jobs on campus to earn room and board in the new campus fieldhouse at the newly opened Rideau Campus. Harris was also the assistant director of Athletics while Norm Fenn, assistant coach, filled the position of director.

Football program, 1964

The results of these changes began to surface as early as the 1960 season, when the Ravens beat RMC twice in a row and non-winning games had small point spreads. For the first time in five years, no team shut the Ravens out, and player retention from year-to-year was on the rise. In 1962, Carleton fought its way to the top of the Ottawa-St. Lawrence conference, ready to take the conference title. Carleton challenged the first-place team in the conference: the McMaster Marauders. Although both morale and skill were at an all-time high, the McMaster team won, putting Carleton in second place. The 1963 season was also very successful, and 1964 brought Pedro the Panda back to Carleton after an eight-year stay with the Gee-Gees. Players like Bob Amer, Dave Dalton and Gord Pranschke set league records. These three players, along with Murray Thrift, Larry Matheson and Earl Hammond, made the 1965 league all-star game. A unique challenge was presented to Carleton's football Ravens in 1967, when St. Patrick's College, one of Carleton's frequent opponents, was incorporated into Carleton University. The two very separate football teams were to become one squad. By 1968, the integrated Ravens team earned a second-place finish and sixth-place nationally. The 1960s were truly the Ravens' first Golden Age.

Key Games - Major injuries plagued the team in 1961. In a game against Waterloo in 1961, the Ravens took quite the quarterback pounding. Glen St. John was injured as he attempted to pass on the second series of plays and was out for the remainder of the season. Don McGregor, the second-string quarterback, went in, fumbled the ball on the first play and was smothered by tacklers, breaking his thigh-bone. Coach Harris had to frantically hold tryouts for anyone who could throw a ball along the sidelines of the field. Russ Buckland, who had an injured arm, finished the game.

Although the 1964 season was not as successful as the previous two, the Oct. 21 Panda Game was a definite highlight. In this game, Coach Harris used Bob Amer's record-setting passing skills in a sprint-out series, a move where the QB sprints out far to one side of the field to run or look for a pass. Although popular in today's football, this move took the Ottawa U. team by surprise again and again. Carleton came out fast with two first-quarter touchdowns by Dave McDonald and Kim McCuaig. The game see-sawed between the Gee-Gees and the Ravens all afternoon. Over 6,000 fans watched Carleton reign victorious, due, in part, to Amer completing 11 of 23 passes, Dalton rushing 170 yards in 21 carries and McDonald scoring two touchdowns and two singles.

Key Players - John (Madman) Dever was named for his unusual tendency to leap into the air right before he was about to be tackled. Before he was a Raven, this 5' 11 ", 185 lb. fullback played for Albert College in Belleville, Ont. where Coach Harris first witnessed his strength and speed. Dever at first had some problems fitting in with his teammates during training camp. However, Harris saw the potential in this young man and allowed him to play in one of the first games in 1962. It was in this game that he began to shine, where he would, according to Harris, "launch himself head first, sideways, over [the] top of them, just before he would be tackled. " In this game against Guelph, Madman was about to be tackled, so he jumped in the air, brought his knees up and spun his wheels on the man's back on his way to a touchdown. He was charged with an offensive roughing and the touchdown was taken away, but the show was spectacular. Dever was a crowd-pleaser. With 42 points, he tied the team scoring record in 1962.

Bob Amer was like a "Mississippi gambler," doing whatever opponents would least expect on the field. According to Coach Harris, he could "throw like nobody's business" and was a star right from the third game of his rookie year. As the quarterback for the Ravens from 1964 to 1966, Amer set records at Carleton that have yet to be broken. These include the most yards gained passing in a season (1,755), most touchdowns in a single game (five), and the most touchdown passes completed in a season (fourteen). He also holds the record for the second most passes completed in a career (263 in only three seasons) and upon graduation held seven OIFC passing records and was twice named to its all star team. He was named Athlete of the Year in 1965 /1966, and winner of the Jack Vogan Memorial Medal in 1967. For these tremendous accomplishments, Bob Arner was inducted into the Carleton Athletics Varsity Hall of Fame in February 1996.

Statistics (wins/loses/ties)

  • 1960 (2/5/0)
  • 1961 (2/5/0)
  • 1962 (5/2/0)
  • 1963 (5/2/0)
  • 1964 (3/4/0)
  • 1965 (5/2/0)
  • 1969 (4/1/1)