College of DuPage hosts third annual Red Grange Bowl Dec. 1
Sizing up teams during the final days of the season, the College of DuPage Athletics office is busy prepping for the annual Red Grange Bowl, set for a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday, Dec. 1, at the college's Bjarne Ullsvik Stadium on the Glen Ellyn campus, 425 Fawell Blvd.
This year's game marks the third year the college has hosted the bowl, sanctioned by the National Junior College Athletic Association, to honor the legacy of Harold Edward "Red" Grange.
"It's a privilege to once again host this event and provide an opportunity for some of the best teams in the country to showcase their players," said College of DuPage Director of Athletics and Recreation Greg McVey. "We, as an institution, value the impact sports have on student development and hope that tying into the story of Red Grange resonates with our visiting teams."
Grange spent most of his childhood in Wheaton, attending Wheaton High School, where he played football, baseball, basketball and ran track. He earned 16 varsity letters during his tenure and as a high school junior scored 36 touchdowns and led the school to an undefeated season.
Known as the Galloping Ghost because no one could catch him, Grange famously scored four touchdowns in the first 12 minutes when he played halfback for the University of Illinois against Michigan. The two-time NFL champion football halfback later played for the Chicago Bears and, for a short-time, the New York Yankees.
For COD Football Head Coach Matt Foster, the next few days are pivotal in that he and McVey will determine who to invite.
"There are a number of top notch non-scholarship programs out there," he said. "We're looking at the Minnesota Conference, but there are other teams on our radar as well."
While teams won't be announced until midmonth, Foster said bowl committee members are busy putting the finishing touches on plans, which include a bowl banquet Nov. 29 and a service "We work closely with the Red Grange Foundation to teach players about what a treasure Red Grange is to the community and the legacy of football," he said. "Grange gave so much to the sport and continued to inspire student athletes until his death in 1991."
In that vein, the Dec. 1 game will feature the 2018 recipient of the Red Grange Award, given since the 1970s to a local athlete exemplary on the field and in the classroom. Additionally, all proceeds from the game will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, where College of DuPage football players regularly give their time each season to assist staff and clients.
"Leading by example was Red Grange's way and we want all participating players to understand the impact they can have by performing even the smallest task," Foster said.
Tickets to the game are $10.
Tickets for the banquet, set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Hilton Hotel Lisle, are $25.
Visit cod.edu/conferences/bowl/index.aspx for all Red Grange Bowl details or to purchase game tickets online. Tickets also will be available for sale (cash only, please) at the point of entry at each event.
The Red Grange Bowl is made possible in part with support from the Illinois National Guard, Evviva Restaurant, Hilton Hotel Lisle, Packey Webb Ford, Ellyn's Tap & Grill, Glen Ellyn Walmart Supercenter, Riddell, Sportsdecals, Field Turf and BSN Sports.
College of DuPage is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association, National Junior College Athletic Association Region IV and North Central Community College Conference (N4C). The College's Athletics program offers eight men's and seven women's sports teams each year, including track and field, cross country, football, volleyball, golf, basketball, tennis, baseball, softball and soccer. All home games are played on the Glen Ellyn campus, 425 Fawell Blvd., and are free and open to the public.