Chicago DePaul University Academy “Demons”

DePaul University Academy Building
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Courtesy of Roy G. Kempa, Class of 1963

                  The History of Chicago DePaul University Academy

Chicago (population 2.8 million) is in northeastern Illinois in eastern Cook County. Lake Michigan, along with the Chicago and Des Plaines Rivers being the main waterways in the city. Interstates 55, 57, 90, & 94 will all lead you to the “Windy City,” as will numerous state and US highways. From what started as a small village in the early 1800’s along the banks of Lake Michigan, Chicago has grown to the nation’s third largest city and one of the most famous places in the world, as the result of an ethnically diverse community that adopted the city.

DePaul University Academy (also known as DePaul Academy) was opened as an all-boys’ prep school to St. Vincent College (now DePaul University) on September 5, 1898 on the city’s North Side in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The namesake of the school is St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660), who was the founder of the Congregation of the Mission, a religious community whose members, the Vincentian Fathers of the Western Province, helped establish the school. Both the academy and college opened their doors at the same time with a total of 69 students enrolled.

There was an all-girls’ companion school to DePaul Academy called St. Vincent DePaul Academy that had opened previously in 1891, and later changed its name to DePaul High School in 1911 as the university admitted its first female students. But, it was closed in 1921 and merged to become part of Immaculata High School.

The all-boys’ high school section separated from the university in 1923, and then in 1959, the high school become completely independent of the institution that help found their school. Around that time, the school’s enrollment reached its peak at 850 students. Slow-learning students were also admitted to the school in the fall of 1962.

As was the case during the late 1960’s amid social protest and other changes at the time, Catholic schools were having problems staying open due to the lack of funds. The incoming freshmen admissions were declining, going from 220 in 1961 to 121 in 1967. DePaul Academy decided to close its doors at 2219 North Kenmore after the 1967-68 school year, even though 677 boys were enrolled.

Other reasons given for closing were that there were not enough Vincentian priests on the faculty, increasing financial deficits, and the building’s condition was deteriorating.

The school building was given back to DePaul University for academic purposes and after being refurbished, it is known today as Byrne Hall.

As Roy Kempa supplied to us, one unique story about DePaul is how the school came about its nickname of the “Demons.” For some excellent insight on this check out the following web address:


Year opened:                 1898

Year closed:                   1968

School colors:                Scarlet & Blue

School nickname:         “Demons”

School song:                 “On Together”

                                                 Submitted by ROY KEMPA

DePaul Academy Fight Song

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Submitted by Roy G. Kempa, Class of 1963

On To–gether, on  for—ev–er,

Thru the Raging Bat–tles Roar.

Wave your Ban—ner

Ev–en High–er

Let the Blue and Scar—let Soar.

Shout for Vic–tory

Fight for Victory

Let your Val–or show the Way

While we all stand up,

Cheer De Paul and Fight for D.  P.  A.


From information that this writer has gathered, DePaul University Academy did compete in football, basketball, baseball, cross-country, track, and swimming as a charter member of the Chicago Catholic League, beginning in 1913. It is possible that the school may have also offered other sports, such as golf, tennis, boxing, and perhaps wrestling. If anyone knows more about what sports were offered at the school while it was open, we certainly invite you to contact us at the addresses listed at the bottom of this page.


The Blue Demons were competitive on the gridiron and contended for a number of Catholic League titles and the right to play in the Prep Bowl, as evidenced by records presented to us by Tom Sikorski and Robert Pruter. In all, they won 12 league titles!

1913         Catholic League Champions

1914         Catholic League Champions

1915         Catholic League Champions

1916         Catholic League Champions

1917         Catholic League Champions

1918         Catholic League Champions

1920         Catholic League Champions

1923 DePaul University Academy football team
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Courtesy of Robert Pruter
1928 DePaul University Academy football team
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courtesy of Robert Pruter

1929         Catholic League Champions

1930         Catholic League Champions

1940  6-2  Catholic League North Division Champs!!         Coach Wally McGovern

Lost to Leo in Catholic League Championship game. .

1948  8-2  2nd in Catholic South Division                           Coach Tom O’Brien

Lost to Fenwick in Catholic League Championship game

1949  6-3                                                                               Coach Tom O’Brien

1950  7-4  Catholic North Champs!!!                                   Coach Tom O’Brien

Lost to Mt Carmel in Catholic League Championship game

1951  5-3                                                                               Coach Tom O’Brien

1953  5-4                                                                               Coach Tom O’Brien

1955  5-3                                                                               Coach Tom O’Brien

1956  5-3                                                                               Coach Tom O’Brien

1957  4-2-1                                                                            Coach Tom O’Brien

1958  7-2-1  Catholic League North Division Champs!!       Coach Tom O’Brien

1959  6-2     Catholic League North Champs!!!

1965            Final season – Co-captains John Mullin & Donald Brown

Last game was an 18-8 win over Holy Trinity

The football program left its mark in the state record books as the result of a contest versus St. Charles on October 14th, 1916. In that game, the Blue Demons won 157-0, scoring 23 touchdowns!

Of those 23 touchdowns, 11 of them were talled by Valentine Rock Grundman (a state record), and eight more were scored by player who has been identified as Schneider (no first name given). Grundman also converted 18 points after touchdown for a total of 84 points scored in that contest. Both of those marks are the second-best in a single game by an Illinois gridder.

Dennis Coyne – Class of 1964, was an excellent running back and defensive back for the Demons.  Dennis would continue his college football career at Northwestern University.


Although no win-loss records were found and that there is nothing on the IHSA website that would indicate the school won a plaque or trophy in the state tournament series, DePaul did offer this sport. One successful coach that was involved with the school was Frank McGrath, who compiled a record of 364-140 while guiding both De Paul and and fellow Catholic League member Weber. The Demons won nine Catholic League varsity titles, as well as one each for lightweights and juniors.

1917-18    Catholic League Champions

1918-19    Catholic League Champions

1923-24    Catholic League Champions

Final Standings–Heavyweights          Lightweights

DePaul                     12- 2              St. Patrick                    14- 1

Loyola                      10- 4              St. Ignatius                   12- 3

St. Cyril                      9- 5              Chicago DeLaSalle      10- 4

St. Mel                        8- 6             St. Cyril                         10- 5

St. Patrick                  7- 4              St. Rita                           9- 6

Joliet DeLaSalle         6- 5              Loyola                            6- 5

Chicago DeLaSalle    6- 5              Joliet DeLaSalle             5- 6

St. Ignatius                 6- 5              St. Mel                            5- 6

St. Rita                       4- 7              Holy Trinity                     4- 7

St. Philip                    2- 9               DePaul                           2- 9

Aquinas                     1-10              Aquinas                          2- 9

Holy Trinity                1-10              St. Philip                         0-11

1928-29    Catholic League Lightweight Champions

1928-29 DePaul Lightweight Basketball team
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Chicago Catholic League Champs (courtesy of Robert Pruter)

1932-33               Catholic League Champions

1945-46    21- 8                                                    Coach Frank McGrath

1947-48               Catholic League Champions   Coach Frank McGrath

1947-48 Catholic League Champs
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1950-51               Catholic League Champions

1954-55               Catholic League Champions

1958-59    23-6   Catholic League Champions    Coach Ron Feiereisel

1958-59 Chicago Catholic League Champs
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courtesy of Roger McGill

Roger McGill (class of 1961) tells us about the 1958-59 Catholic Champions:

DePaul Academy Wins Catholic Title – The Demons, champions of the North Section, gave no quarter save height to favored Leo Lions at the Loyola University Gym.

1st Qt score: 15-8 lead and at halftime we lead again, 29-18 thanks to Jack Carkeek hitting 18 points. The Leo Lions came roaring back in the 3rd quarter, but we still had the lead 38-37 by one point. With 4:48 left in the game, Carkeek hit a two-pointer that gave us a 46-40 advantage. And with just 1:22 left, he hit again to bring the count to a score 50-43. DePaul thus earned the right to meet Marshall’s Public League champions for the Chicago prep championship Monday.

On this team were the following: Jim O’Donnell – Sr, Jack Carkeek – Sr., Tom Greene – Sr., Tom Seibert, Sr., Bill Heavy, Sr., Joe Reuter, Sr., Frank Joyce – Sr, Dennis Buczynski – Sr., Ron Johnson – Sr.,  Neal Martin -Jr, Ottis Williams – Jr., Ralph Durso – Jr. Bill Phiefer – Jr., Mike Lydon – Jr. Marvin Klebba – So., and Roger McGill, So.

On March 23, 1959 DePaul Demons were nipped by Marshall, 70-66 at the old Chicago Stadium for the City of Chicago Championship. Our record for the season was 23-6, and Marshall’s record was 25 4. Again, all of the above mentioned names were on DePaul Academy’s team.

Marshall had George Wilson, 6′ 7″,  MC Thompson, 6′ 5″  (who went on to play at DePaul University for Ray Meyer), Ken Moses 6′ 3″,  & Gordon Lemmons 6′ at guards, and Bob Smith also 6′.

At half time we were leading 35-30, again to Bill Heavy and Jack Carkeek shooting. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the score was 51-50 Marshall. Again to outstanding play by all the starting 5 of DePaul Academy.

At the end of the game Joe Reuter was the high scorer with 19 points, Bill Heavy 18 points, Tom Seibert’s 15 points, Jack Carkeek’s 9 points, and Jim O’Donnell’s 4 points, and Tom Greene’s 1 point. The Demons shot a brilliant .520 from the floor.

The Head coach for this team was Ron Feiereisel and said after the game – “These kids of ours didn’t quit all season and they weren’t going to quit tonight.”

This informations comes from my articles saved from the Chicago Sun-Times by John Payton, and from the DePaul Prep Vol. 37, No 7 April 14, 1959.

1959-60               Catholic League JV Champs (see more details below from Bill Hennessy)

1966-67               Catholic League Champions

                                 Chicago City Champions

Research conducted by Bill Menard resulted in the submission of the photo below. The photo is of the De Paul Academy “champions” of 1964. We believe the team may have won a tournament consisting of catholic schools only. Included on this team was Dave Hernandez, a highly recruited guard who was quick and dominating. Hernandez would regularly score 30 points in a game. Also on the team was guard George Poulos, who would move on to play basketball for Ray Meyer at DePaul University.”

From Joe Puccio regarding this team:

“The picture you have on the site is the championship team of the Catholic League…the difference is at that time all Catholic schools had two varsity teams. The team pictured was called the “lights” as the height restriction was 5″8. Poulos and Hernandez also played on the regular team 5’8 and over team and I believe they lost the championship to Mt. Carmel. I remember this well as 1964 was my senior year.”

Members of the team in the photo below include the following, in order:

Back Row, L to R:  J. Kruzel, A. Siemera, S. Hoffman, R. Parra, R. Boutet, J. Kosovich, J. Rowton, C. Stefan

Middle Row, L to R: B. Walsh, J. Wetter, Dave Hernandez, P. Mitchell, George Poulos, T. Aiello, Fr. T. Munster, C.M.

Kneeling, L to R:  G. Van Herik, Nr, J. Fay, H. Hoferle, R. Imburgia, Mr. W. Gleason, Fr. Rechtin, C.M. 

De Paul Academy Basketball Team of 1963
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Submitted by Bill Menard

From Richard Diaz (class of 1967)….

In 1965, De Paul lost to Mt. Carmel for the Catholic League Championship played at the former De Paul University Alumni Hall. A last second, three-quarter court shot by center Dan Bray was not allowed. Mt. Carmel went on to beat Marshall 68-65 at the Chicago Stadium for the City Championship. De Paul lost to Public League runner-up Du Sable, also at the old Chicago Stadium.

Due to a disturbance after the Marshall loss, the City Championship games were moved to the Chicago Amphitheater and only the students from the schools playing were allowed to attend. De Paul beat Harlan in 1967 to win the City Title.

The interesting thing about the 1965 loss to Mt Carmel: I believe we were down by one point with about 4-5 seconds left. The ball was in-bounded to one of the guards whose whirled around and passed the ball to Bray. I believe Henry Melton set a pick on the man defending the inbound pass and was “fouled.” However, the ref did not call the foul which would have put Melton on the line for a one-and-one free throw. 

1966-67 Blue Demons

From Philip McGovern, who was a freshman at DePaul during this season:

“During the 1966-67 season the Blue Demons accomplished the following:

Winning the Catholic League Championship over Mount Carmel

Winning the City Championship over Harlan

(The City Championship pitted the Catholic League winner against the Public League winner.)

Head Coach:  Bill Gleason

Asst. Coach: Dennis Freund

Some of the players included: Tim Schneider, Al Lathan, Jim Lynch, Tony Booker, Joey Meyer


In gathering information, we did find the school offered these sports to those interested in running over hill and dale as well as the cinder oval. The Blue Demons won nine Catholic League track titles from 1915-1936.

Pat Savage served as head coach for both sports from 1966-68 before moving on to St. George, and then later to DePaul University. We are looking for more information about those who may have competed in these sports at the school.

1915     Catholic League Champions

1918     Catholic League Champions

1919     Catholic League Champions

1920     Catholic League Champions

1929     Catholic League Champions

1930     Catholic League Champions

1930 Catholic League Champions
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1931          Catholic League Champions

1935         Catholic League Champions

1936         Catholic League Champions

1945  9-0 dual record                                                Coach Tom Haggerty

1946          Catholic League Champions

1947          Catholic League Champions

1954         Catholic League Co-Champions

From Coach Pat Savage:

“Most, if not all, the BB athletes from 1967 ran track and/or XC for me at the Academy. Bill Gleason made everyone come out. DePaul never played in the IHSA in any sport. I know we won some North Side Championships and/or Frosh Soph Titles while I was coach/teaching at the Academy. After St. George closed in 1969, I went to Niles West in Skokie and retired from Teaching in 2002. I still coached part-time with my son Danny for a few years there. I also coached at Oakton Community College from 1971-2003. Oakton won the NJCAA National Marathon Championship in 2002.”


In an interesting note, DePaul was also part of a Catholic League experiment of offering softball in the spring of 1943, along with St. Philip, Mount Carmel, De La Salle, Loyola, St. George, and St. Rita. Due to the number of rainouts and other reasons, softball was not added as a regular sport beyond that year.


DePaul Academy was also competitive in baseball during the early years of the Catholic League, as it won two of the first five titles that were offered to Catholic boys’ schools in Chicago.

1915      Catholic League Champions

1917      Catholic League Champions


DePaul had several football players play at the professional level. They include:

Bill Muellner — After playing collegiately at DePaul University, Muellner appeared on the roster of four teams during the 1937 season. The two-way end was with the former Chicago Cardinals of the NFL, and also played in the American Football League with the Los Angeles Bulldogs, Cincinnati Bengals, and New York Yanks.

Bill Steinkemper — Following his college days at Notre Dame, this tackle was a member on the 1937 Cincinnati Bengals (see above), and later came back to the pros during the 1943 season to help the Chicago Bears win both a division and NFL title.

Dick Evans — The offensive end-defensive back came to the NFL for four seasons as a member of the Green Bay Packers (1940, 1943) and the homestanding  Bears (1941, 1942) via the University of Iowa. He also played professional basketball from 1940-43 and again from 1944-45.

Steve Juzwik — Although his time in the NFL was interrupted for a military hitch due to World War II, the Notre Dame back was a member of the 1942 Washington Redskins, and then had three seasons in the All-American Football League with the Buffalo Bisons (1946-47) and Chicago Rockets (1948).

Joey Meyer — basketball standout and future head coach of the DePaul University mens basketball program.


MARIO “MOTTS” TONELLI: We have two links about DPA alumnus Mario “Motts” Tonielli, who later played his collegiate football at Notre Dame and later with the former Chicago (now Arizona) Cardinals. The first incredible link and story was sent to us by Anthony Curran, while the second one comes to us courtesy of another DPA alumnus, Ron Schmidt (class of 1961). We hope that you will take the time to read both amazing stories of one of America’s great heroes!!  Please check out the following web addresses:



From Joseph Backes (Class of 1967):

I was a 1967 graduate of the Academy, one year prior to closing. I also played basketball for two years so I knew most of the guys on the team. The starting lineup was as follows: Joey Meyer and Tim Schneider at guard; Pat Minogue and Henry Melton at forward; and Al Lathan at center. Dan, not Jim, Lynch was one of the first guys off the bench. The City Championship game was played at the Chicago Amphitheater and we did indeed defeat Harlan for the title. As a matter of fact, Mount Carmel won the third place game against, I believe, DuSable.

We also had a baseball team and one of the guys in our senior class led the city in hitting and was drafted by the Cubs. His name was Marty Miller and he played in the Cubs organization for a few years. His career was very promising until he suffered a major injury. Marty later became a major league scout for various teams.

The school building itself is still standing at the corner of Kenmore and Webster. It is now part of the DePaul University campus. 

I hope this information will be of some help to you. Thanks for the memories.”

From D.R. Zaccone:

I don’t know if intramural sports are of any interest to you for this wonderful research you are doing for our school, but in the event it has a place in the history of De Paul we had a very active Intramural boxing team.

In the years of 1952, 1953 and 1954 some of the participants were:

Ken Swensen (deceased), Burt Welker (deceased), D.R. Zaccone, the Hernandez brothers, and several others who’s names escape me now. Unfortunately my recollection of so few is because they were in my weight class.”

From Dennis Cotter (Class of 1955):

Hello: I am a 1955 DPA grad. I was a member of an early inter school bowling team that had some success before  [I think, there may be information available of which I was not aware in 1955?] formal Catholic League Bowling competition became more organized.

I personally won the 1955 Chicago Metro Area American Jr. Bowling Congress {AJBC} year end male championship [a male and female award was given at that time] which in those days provided a $500 annual College scholarship funded by the Brunswick Corp. DePaul Academy had two winners of this award in the 1950’s. Larry Fronzak, a DePaul senior also won the title in 1953. In 1955, because of my win, I was selected to appear on the Paul Krumski TV show. Paul was a pro bowler of some local and national fame. I still have the letter of invitation, TV script with Q&A’s, etc.

I do have some first hand knowledge and a few trivia items from the Sept. 1953 to June 1955 era. I also have an extensive collection of DePaul Academy yearbooks from 1925 through 1968.

Did you know that the ’54-55 Demon basketball team was the Catholic League champions, led by guards, junior Billy Haig and Senior Tom Meier, [not Meyer but Meier] losing the city championship to Marshall HS, who had a great center named Art Day.

In the ’53-54 basketball season, the Demons with seniors John Cronin and Bill Henry leading the way, lost to Lakeview HS at Chicago Stadium coming in fourth in the city championship series, a great St. Mel team led by Ed Gleason, who later coached basketball at the Academy, upset the Illinois State Champions from DuSable HS, led by guard Paxton Lumpkin, for the city championship.

During the ’51-54 football seasons the team was coached by Mr. Tom O’Brien and we played all our home games at Lane Tech Stadium.

From John Monnier (Class of 1959):

In 1957, DPA started a swimming team, taking advantage of the new DPU Alumni Hall swimming pool. There was limited access but a team was initiated. I had the pleasure of serving as captain for the 1959 team. The team was good but did not have great success largely due to very limited practice time in the DPU pool, I think two or three days a week for a couple of hours. There are photos and team member names in the year books which I would be glad to relay. My brother Richard (Dick) was on the team, class of ’60, died in ’67. Great experience for those who participated.

From Roger McGill (Class of 1961)…..

The following are the Class Officer from the Class of 1961 –

Bob Rouse – President 

John Mendalla – Vice President

RIch Kellner – Secretary

Roger McGill – Treasurer

For President:

Name            Votes

Rouse              74

Kosovich          37

Griffin               33

Pell                  16

Holovaty           11

Miller               13

Braun                9

For Vice President

Mendalla          50

Cicero              49

Bassi               45

Carlson            23

Chroba             12

Hennessey       11

Kazmar             3

For Secretary

Keller               52

Favoriti             51

Carlson            31

Lipinski            23

Jendras            22

Freiner              9

Kelleher            5

For Treasurer

McGill              63

Klebba             49

Lieske              25

Mulcrone          22

Welsch            20

Faust                8

Hanowski          6

These elections were taken May 5th in Jr. year, in Fr. Discon’s office. In all, 193 votes were cast, which means that only six students did not vote – five of them due to absence. The new Senior Class Officers will also be the Student Council Officers for next year, and will operate in that capacity under Father Discon, the moderator.

This came from the DePaul Prep from back in those days.

From Chris Radek:

My Dad graduated from DePaul Academy in 1968 and played football that year and his junior year of 1967 before getting a football scholarship to John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH, so I know that 1965 was not the last year for football. My Dad’s still alive so I’ll ask him for any details and also I’m pretty sure he might have his junior and senior years yearbooks. I’ll forward anything I can find out to you.

From Jim Egan:

I attended DePaul for my freshman year and played football. We moved to California the following year. I saw the championship game that we lost to Marshall, 47 to 46. FYI: Bob Schaeffer, a junior on the football team in 1947, made All-State as a guard the following year.

From Larry Kaszuba (class of 1965):

“I attended DPA from 61 and was part of the 65 graduating class. The 5′-8″ and under basketball team was called the Junior Varsity or JV. there is an error in your identity of a person in the 1963 photo. Tom AIELLO is the correct spelling of the guy next to Rev. Thomas Munster. I knew Tom, Jim Kosovich (deceased) and Dave Hernandez as we were in classes together.”

From Donald Brown (class of 1966):

“I happened to look up DePaul on the internet and found the site where your email address was listed with a request for more information about the school. I am a 1966 graduate and could answer a number of questions from the “closing “ era. In fact, I played several sports there.

“I was the last quarterback on the football team and was co-captain with Jack Mullin our senior year (1965 season), and played in the last game, a win over Holy Trinity at Lane Tech. It was advertised as Holy Trinity’s last game, but it was actually both schools’ last game as DePaul decided/announced that it was dropping football several months later. That was the beginning of the end for the school.”

From Ray Bernard (almost Class of 1969):

1966-67 Cross-Country:  De Paul Academy won the Junior Varsity North Section Championship with a record score of 20 points (low score wins). Four De Paul runners all beat the Fenwick course record of 6:22: Bob Becker, Tim Winandy (a freshman), Ray Bernard and Bill Kelly. During the season, De Paul had perfect scores (15) against all Public League opponents, and a 3rd place finish in the Catholic League Championship.

Angelo Rivera, a sophomore, ran mostly on the Senior squad. Other sophomore JV harriers were Mike Laxner, Frank Tobin, Cliff Howard, Mark Dix and Julius Tackas.

Bob Becker went on to four mid-distance conference championships with Drake University in the Missouri Valley Conference and is inducted into the MVC Conference Hall of Fame.

Father Hinni was our Moderator, and faculty booster extraordinaire. As Coach Savage said, “He can, who but will.” So much rich history seems to have been lost from this excellent school, since it’s closing, Thank you for the forum! I hope this inspires other classmates to record our cherished past.

From former student Thomas Cooney:

“I went to DePaul for the last 2 years it was opened and there was no football team. When we took our entrance exam, Mike Hoban was in the same class as I was. We went to grade school together, and when he found out that there would be no football team he went to Gordon Tech, graduated and went to Michigan, was a great football player who also played for the Bears for I think 3 years. Great football player and great person as well. Every one who went to DePaul was proud they did, and it was a shame it had to close.

“My dad, Thomas J Cooney and my uncle Marty Cooney both went to DePaul, and were proud they did. My dad played on the basketball team and my uncle played football. We are the Cooney’s from Cooney Funeral Home and have buried all the Vincentian priests for as long as I can remember and are very proud to be associated with our priests from DePaul. The Booker that played when we won the city titles name was Tony. God bless all of the passed alumni!!”

From Eileen Hardiman:

“Thought you would be interested in knowing that my grandfather, Frances “Frank” Burke (class of 1919) and his class ring belongs to my son, who will be graduating from DePaul University on June 12, 2016 with a degree in Psychology. Most of his classes over the past 4 years were in Byrne Hall, the site of DePaul Academy, and he didn’t even know he was walking the same halls that his great-grandfather walked nearly 100 years earlier. I’m proud to say that he will be wearing his ring on graduation day.”

From Bill Hennesey (class of 1961):

“Hello–My name is Bill Hennessy and I attended the academy from ’57-61. DePaul started baseball again in 1960 and lost to St. Rita in the semifinals (of the Catholic League Tournament) in 1961. It was treated as a club as no letter awards were granted then.

“I had the opportunity to be the catcher on the 1961 team and the most interesting game was out 1-0 victory over St. George. My arm felt tight and I visited the trainer Monforti prior to the game. He cracked my back and my arm was as loose as a goose.

“St. George tried unsuccessfully steal second base eight times. The combination of Marv Klebba (pitcher), myself, and John Smoland (second baseman) were too much for the visiting team. (I) still do not know why their coach continued to send the runners again and again.

“1960 was a good year for the academy. The lightweights (junior varsity) were Catholic League Champs. This group was made up of lads 5’8″ in height or less. Games were played on the same nights as the heavyweight (varsity, who were over 5″8”). The JV team was a heavily dominated senior/junior squad using full court pressure very effectively. This was the most successful season in 30 years. The team placed second in the Fenwick Tournament and captured Catholic North Section as well as the Catholic League Championship.

“The seniors were Jim Heavey*, Chuck Gibney*, Jim Corrado*, Mike Ryman*, Steve Butera, and Len Amari. The juniors were Jerry Kosovich*, Bill Hennessy, Tom Meyer, Roger Bassi, Bob Nogar, Chuck McNulty, and Pete Calumet. ((*–starters). The coach was Bill Gleason.

League Game Scores:

DePaul 74, Weber 63

DePaul 57, Holy Trinity 33

DePaul 45, St. George 41

DePaul 51, Loyola 50

DePaul 48 Gordon Tech 42

DePaul 54, Weber 47

DePaul 59, Holy Trinity 46

DePaul 71, St. George 42

Loyola 59, DePaul 51

DePaul 54, Gordon Tech 45

Playoff Games

DePaul 56, Gordon Tech 44

DePaul 55, St. Phillip 37

DePaul 52, Loyola 51 (championship)

“The Senior Varsity squad also did well, ending with a 7-3 Catholic League North record, but lost in the first playoff game to St. Elizabeth, 48-47. Seniors were Otis Williams, Bill Pheiffer, Sam Deane, Mike Leyden, Mike Cunnane, Ralph Durso, Tom Scallon, Neil Martin, Ted Nieland, and Gerald Kolski.

“Juniors were Roger McGill, Ron Lipinski, Marv Klebba, and John Carlson. Sophomores were Tom Boesch and Wally Groh, and Pete Ortolano was the lone freshman.

“The Varsity Football team also excelled, winning the Catholic League North title, but lost in the first playoff game to Weber 12-6. The team consisted of 37 players and were coached by Tom O’Brien, John Annetti, and Lenny Kohl.”

From “Betty Ann:”

“My friends used to watch boxing matches at St. Andrews by DePaul Academy. They were located around Lincoln Avenue and Paulina in Chicago from 1948-1952. We also watched football at Thillens Stadium at Fullerton and Central, and also at Lane Tech school stadium, and watched basketball at DePaul Auditorium on Sheffield Avenue. We all grew up in the same neighborhood and went to St. Vincent Grade School. What great years.”

From Warren Oeff (class of 1949, dated June 18, 2022):

“I am a 1949 graduate of DePaul Academy, and was very pleased to come across your internet postings as I searched for archival collections of the DE PAUL PREP newspaper.  (I had a regular column for a couple of years, called “Diggin’ the Discs”.)  I still love some of that old music I wrote about,  but have not one copy of the paper. I have searched all over the internet, unsuccessfully,  for an archive of those old editions, but to no avail.

“So pleased to find you on the internet!  Keep up the good work!”


…to help us gather more about the history of DePaul University Academy. We are particularly interested in finding out more about sports and other activities that the school may have been involved in. If you have anything, please contact us:

by email:

by USPS: Illinois High School Glory Days

                6439 North Neva

                Chicago, IL  60631 

  1. I attended DePaul for three years until its closing in 1968 and finished my senior year at Holy Trinity. I will always consider myself as a DePaul student. HT was for me just a way to finish HS and I never felt any attachment to it. 1967 was a great year for the basketball team as we won the city championship against the public league champs the Harlan Falcons. However DePaul had a Christmas tournament prior to this. We were in the finals against Mt. Carmel. Henry Melton made a near half court shot as time expired to tie it up but Mt. Carmel beat us at the buzzer in OT on a lay up. However we played them again for the Catholic league championship and ailing Joey Meyer who had the flu stole the ball with a few seconds left. His lay up sealed it for us. Amazing game.

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