McKinnon, who played both center and linebacker, won both the Golden Trophy as the best Catholic collegiate football player in the nation and Bulger Lowe Award as the best college player in New England after the 1962 season.
The sociology major then went on to play in the Coaches All-America game in Buffalo in June of 1963.
"Big Don" McKinnon starred on the undefeated and untied '62 Ivy League championship team that posted five shutouts and limited opponents to nine total points through the first seven games of a 9-0 campaign. That was Dartmouth's first unbeaten team since 1925.
Former Dartmouth assistant and later Big Green head coach Joe Yukica on McKinnon:
"Don could have played for any team in the country. He was our Chuck Bednarik (Penn’s post-war great), as valuable a two-way player as there was."McKinnon was drafted in the 11th round by the New York Giants with the NFL's 153rd pick. The Arlington, Mass., native and graduate of Matignon High School instead signed with his hometown Boston Patriots of the AFL, who took him in the 10th round with the 79th overall pick.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound McKinnon played in 17 games with the Patriots over the 1963 and '64 seasons. He went on to have a successful Wall Street career.
From the 1964 Patriots media guide:
Don was Dartmouth's center, linebacker and All Everything in '62 ... Last year he did such an impressive job in training that he ousted veteran Rommie Loudd from the linebacking quartet which also includes Tom Addison, Jack Rudolph and Nick Buoniconti ... The big blonde was the first authentic Dartmouth All-American since Bob McLeod of the mid thirties, the first Ivy League selection since Princeton's Dick Kazmaier a decade ago ... Although he suffered a fractured hip during training this summer, Don is ready to go for the '64 Pats ... Don is still single and lives with his folks in Arlington, Mass.Services for Don McKinnon are tentatively slated for May on Block Island.
|McKinnon intercepting a Brown pass. (Photos courtesy of Dartmouth)|
|Bill King (left) and Don McKinnon share a laugh.|
|That's McKinnon on the left in the back row along with, left to right, Ed Boies and Tom Spangenberg in the from row, Dale Runge and Bill Blumenschein in the middle row, and Charlie Green to the right of McKinnon in the back row.|
Not even that 1½ inches of snow we've had so far will keep BGA from delivering news of your next Dartmouth-bound high school senior football player. He's David Chalmers, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive end/tackle from Tuscarora HS and Leesburg, Va., who has Tweeted his commitment to the Big Green.
Chalmers was one of six teammates from a 14-1 squad to make the Group 5A all-state first team. (LINK). He also was chosen first-team all-Conference 14. (LINK)
•At 6-3, 225, incoming Ohio freshman Vito Penza has labeled in some places on the Internet as an "athlete" but he makes no bones about what position he wants to play at Dartmouth. From a story on Youngstown's The Vindicator site (LINK):
On the football field, Penza made it very clear he intends on playing quarterback for the Big Green.
“I’m definitely going in as a quarterback,” he said. “I’m going to compete. I know they have a great quarterback in Dalyn Williams up there right now, but as a competitor I’m definitely going to try and at least give it a shot to win the starting job."
•The Record out of Stockton, Calif., has a short piece about 5-10, 191 Rashaad Cooper of Kimball HS heading this way. From the story (LINK):
Cooper added that the Dartmouth coaches see him having an impact as a tailback and on special teams.
•Josie Harper, the former Dartmouth women's lacrosse coach who went on to become the first woman to serve as an athletic director in the Ivy League, has been inducted into the Rose Tree Media School District Ring of Honor in suburban Philadelphia. Find a story and photo HERE.
•The Wall Street Journal has a story about Edward Gerson, who writes his class notes Dartmouth. Nothing unusual with that, except . . .
Today, Mr. Gerson is 100 years old, and only three of his classmates survive, according to Dartmouth. That is creating some challenges.
Mr. Gerson relays what news he can of the two alums he is in contact with: Edwin Reich, a former clothier he met at summer camp in 1926, and Irving Sager, who was in real estate. For a time he chronicled Mr. Reich ’s lifetime holes-in-one until he stopped playing golf, and Mr. Sager’s love life, until his last flame—who was actually Mr. Gerson’s first cousin—died in 2013 at 96.
“Hey, fellows! Hang in there or soon I won’t have anybody to write about,” he urged in early 2012.Find the full story HERE.