To the Father Lopez Class of 1962

Congratulations on your 50th reunion. I deeply regret that I am unable to be with you on this momentous occasion.

I have many fond memories of those years. It was my first coaching job after graduation from the University of Maryland. Recalling our first season, we had a limited football schedule and played our games at the Daytona Speedway. In our second year, we joined the St. John's River Conference and our program really began to develop. At that point, Frank Moretti, joined Ed Duffy and myself in our building efforts. Plus, in our 3rd year, we won the conference championship and displayed the scores on crosses adjacent to the gym at Father Lopez. Sister Bernadita was not happy with this but when she saw the picture of our recorded victories on the sports page, she relented.

Another memory comes to mind. I had been dating a young lady, Janis Baker, and invited her to our first athletic banquet. She said "Great" and I immediately told her to fix enough chicken for 6 and I would pick her up at 5. She's still fixing chicken after 52 years.

In the early days George Barnes was going to be our quarterback regardless of the competition: he had laid claims on the job. I also remember yelling at Paul Donovan to "stop standing around like a girl with her legs crossed" and our manager, Larry Goodin with lining the practice field each day so the secondary and linebackers could work on their zone pass drops.

In our 3rd year we began to gain recognition as a productive football program and began receiving requests for game films to evaluate potential prospects. One of the schools was Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. We had a transfer student from Clinton, Dennis Johnson, so I asked him what he could tell me about Presbyterian. After many questions and that were left unanswered, I said to Dennis, "So, is there anything else you can tell me about Presbyterian??" He immediately answered, "Well, Coach, I think it's a Baptist school."

Obviously, I have many other fond memories of those times -- my bachelor days, living on the beach and my first coaching job. Other great supporters of our program included Msgr. Irving Nugent, Sister James Edward, Edna Van den Broeck and Mary Hoffman. No one could have asked for greater loyalty.

Many times Father Lopez comes to mind and I can assure the class of 1962 it was a most enjoyable chapter in my life and I will never forget it.

I was asked to include my coaching endeavors after leaving Father Lopez.

I became a graduate assistant with the Mississippi State Bulldogs (1962) and, after a year, moved to Morehead State (1963). I went on to coach for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (1964-1967) -- including the season Brian Piccolo led the nation in rushing -- and the Iowa State Cyclones (1968-1971), Kansas State Wildcats (1972), University of Pittsburgh Panthers ( 1973- 1976 We won the National Championship in 1976 with Tony Dorsett, Heisman Trophy Winner) and the University of Tennessee Volunteers (1977-1979). I spent eight years in the pros, as special teams coach for the Detroit Lions (1980-1984), on the defensive staff of the Atlanta Falcons (1985-1986) and with the San Diego Chargers (1989), back on special teams.

Enjoy yourselves and God speed to all.

Joe Madden
Father Lopez 1959-61

Joe and Janis Madden
5284 Stone Court
San Diego, CA 92115

619-994-7291 (Cell)
janjoe27 AT

Ed. Note: You can read some about Joe's daughter, Kerry Madden at