GBI Magazine

Gold and Black Illustrated Vol28, Digital1

Gold and Black is a multi-platform media company that covers Purdue athletics like no one else.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 74

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1 13 O scar Brohm had a choice. He was the oldest of nine kids to Oscar Sr. and Frances, and his dad never played football, other than tossing the ball around with his sons. But every- body in the Shively/St. Denis neighborhood of Louisville played some kind of ball — basketball, baseball, football — and as a naturally gifted athlete, Oscar Jr. was drawn in. He started playing organized football in sixth grade and quickly made a name for himself as an impressive athlete in the city at Flaget High School, a prestigious Catholic school that boasts Howard Schnellenberger and Paul Hornung as alumni. Oscar was a strong-armed, sav- vy quarterback who walked into the perfect situation: An offense that passed the ball, a rarity in the 1960s, he said. So he slung it around every week, and, by the time he left the school, he held the city's single-season passing record with 23 touchdowns over an 11-game season as a senior. It was a record that stood for about 30 years un- til Chris Redman broke it. He threw for 1,848 yards that season and led Flaget to the Louisville city championship and a runner-up finish at state. He was a first-team AP all-state quarterback that year, too, flash- ing a No. 11 jersey that be- came quite a special one at the school. Before him, Rick Norton wore it and was an all-state quarterback before be- coming an All-American at Ken- tucky and playing in the NFL for the Dolphins. After him, John Mc- Grath wore it and continued the tradition, being named an all-state quarterback and, ultimately, earning Ken- tucky High School Athlete-of-the-Year in 1972. For McGrath, there was no doubt which number he wanted to wear at Flaget. And there was one reason: Because Oscar had donned it. McGrath was six years younger than Oscar, but he was around him all the time growing up. The McGraths and Brohms all went to St. Denis Elementary School. Most of them followed the same path to Flaget, until it closed in 1974. McGrath's father, Joe, coached Oscar in everything: Baseball, basketball and football. And little John was so obsessed with sports — his dad played football and basketball at Louisville before locking in as a local youth coach for 44 years — he always was the water boy, the ball boy, intent on the sidelines or dugout watching Os- car's every move. "He was probably the best athlete in Louisville when he was young," said John McGrath, who was given rides to high school from Oscar's siblings. "He was a great pitcher, a great basketball play- er, a quarterback. He played all those sports at Flaget. It was just natural, since I always was around the team and my dad was coaching and he was the star player, I looked up to him. He was my idol growing up. "You would think talking to Oscar, he's just a normal guy. He is just a OSCAR 1241 Cumberland Ave, Suite B West Lafayette, IN 47906 Phone: 765-497-0197 A Fee-Based Investment Advisor located in the Purdue Research Park 25+ Years of Investment Management Experience Bill Banker, President Purdue University Alumnus '85 Purdue Baseball Alumnus '81-'85 Louisville Athletics

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of GBI Magazine - Gold and Black Illustrated Vol28, Digital1