Army football great Steffy dies at 85

Army football great Steffy dies at 85

Published May. 23, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Joe Steffy, who helped pave the way for Heisman trophy winners Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis on some of Army's best teams and won the Outland Trophy as the nation's top lineman in 1947, has died. He was 85.

Army announced that Steffy died at St. Luke's-Cornwall Hospital's Newburgh campus on Saturday. He had dealt heart problems in recent years.

Steffy played both offense and defense on Army's 1945 and 1946 undefeated teams under coach Earl ''Red'' Blaik. Steffy was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

He went to high school in Chattanooga, Tenn., and attend the University of Tennessee. In 1944, he played on a Volunteers team that went to the Rose Bowl.


He left Tennessee the next season for West Point and helped Army win its second consecutive national title in 1945.

Steffy served in the Korean War and received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart after being wounded in action.

He settled in Newburgh after his service commitment, was an assistant coach under Blaik, and turned down a tryout with the Dallas Texans in the 1950s, opting instead to sell used cars.

Until health problems in recent years, Steffy was a fixture at Army practices and home games. His No. 61 was retired in 2009, becoming the fourth Army player to have that honor. The others are Davis, Blanchard and Pete Dawkins, the 1958 Heisman winner.