After a very successful run under Head Coach Ed Kluska that saw Xavier University of Cincinnati, Ohio ascend to the top tier of Catholic College football, they returned to earth in 1952 and had the unpleasant task of working their way back to the top of the competitive log jam represented by Notre Dame, Boston College, and Dayton among others. In anticipation of a tougher year against improved competition, Coach Kluska maintained his standard T-Formation offense and had nineteen dependable lettermen returning, with a talented group of sophomores that seemed capable of challenging for a starting position. Co-captains Bobby Judd who had set a slew of offensive records as a junior and tackle John Baele could look to the 240 pound Arthur Hauser to anchor a hefty two-way line. Sophomore quarterback Tom Zmyskinski readily took the reins and threw for 367 yards. Despite the efforts of Zyskinski and Judd, the offense again sputtered, scoring but a touchdown in four of its games. Judd earned a ticket to the Xavier University Athletic Hall Of Fame by leading the team in rushing for the second consecutive season with 470 yards on 123 carries. Hauser again proved to be unstoppable on both sides of the ball but especially as a defensive tackle. He went on to a very respectable career as a guard and tackle with the Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Cardinals, and New York Giants before finishing his eight year pro run with the American Football League Patriots in 1960 and Denver Broncos in ’61.
Despite the disappointment of their 2-7-1 season and 20-6 loss to Cincinnati, the team excited their fans with a change to a very distinctive looking helmet. The Musketeers competed in white shells that featured a wide, royal blue wedge-shaped design in the front that tapered to a thin stripe in the rear. A white “X” was imbedded within the blue anterior section of the helmet, and small player identification numerals were applied to the rear of the shell, giving a distinctive and recognizable appearance to the uniform. The 1954 season, which saw a continuing upgrade in the schedule, resulted in another two-win season and Kluska’s resignation. The Musketeers enjoyed a mid-1960’s revival of fortunes under Head Coach Ed Biles who later became an NFL assistant and the head coach of the Houston Oilers. However, continuing monetary losses over the years led to the decision to drop the football program in 1973 and devote the resources to the basketball program which has remained a big time, national level contender. For those who love tradition however, and certainly for those who recall and love Xavier University football and its wonderful rivalry with the University of Cincinnati, no amount of money can replace the loss of all that football brought to the university.