|"It is the most important victory of my career." -- Head Coach Dick Voris, after the
Hoos’ 15-12 victory over Duke on September 27, 1958. Voris finished his UVA career
with a record of 1-29.
|"We've stopped recruiting young men who want to come here to be students first and
athletes second." -- Former Virginia head coach Sonny Randle, describing his strategy
for turning around UVA's football program
|"As the score mounted, to 20-0 and finally 26-0, his movements slowed. With two
minutes to go and South Carolina threatening once more, Voris stood behind several
rows of substitutes, staring at his shoes." -- Sports Illustrated, describing Coach Voris’
stellar coaching performance during the Hoos’ 26-0 loss to South Carolina in 1960
|"Really, Texas wasn't as good as I thought they'd be." -- Ted Manly, Virginia's
freshman quarterback, after Texas had spanked the Hoos 68-0
|5 Questions with Wayne Schuchts
|Wayne Schuchts was UVa's starting quarterback during George Welsh's first two years
at the University. After spending two years at Colgate, during which he played
quarterback and punter, Schuchts redshirted the 1981 season. Thus, he began his
UVa football career in 1982, the same year Coach Welsh took over as head coach.
The 1982 season began on a down note for Schuchts, as Mike Eck was chosen as the
starter for the Hoos' much anticipated season opener against Navy. His
disappointment was short-lived, however, as Coach Welsh inserted Schuchts into the
lineup in the 2nd quarter. On just his third play as a Cavalier, Schuchts threw a 54-yard
touchdown pass to Nick Merrick, cutting Navy's lead to 13-10. On the day, Schuchts
finished 6 of 11 for 168 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort.
Schuchts' success against Navy was a sign of things to come. Despite missing two
games after sustaining an injury against VMI, Schuchts led the team in completions,
attempts, passing yards, and touchdown passes. Among Schuchts' highlights was a
320-yard passing day (at the time, the 8th highest total in school history) in a win over
Wake Forest, during which he threw a 93-yard touchdown pass to Nick Merrick and also
ran for 53 yards and a touchdown.
After struggling to a 2-9 record during Coach Welsh's first season, the Hoos surprised
everyone by racing out to a 4-0 start in 1983. Once again, Schuchts played a prominent
role. In the season opener against Duke, Schuchts, who had been selected as a team
captain, outdueled his more heralded counterpart, Duke quarterback Ben Bennett.
Scuchts completed 10 of 21 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns and also ran
for a score as the Hoos beat the Blue Devils by a score of 38-30. Schuchts went on to
finish the 1983 season with career highs in completions (129), passing yards (1,881)
and touchdown passes (11) while leading the Hoos to a record of 6-5, just the 3rd time
in the previous 31 years the Hoos had finished with a winning record.
These days, Schuchts is a Senior Vice President at Flagler Real Estate, Florida's
leading commercial real estate firm.
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1. You were a rising junior when George Welsh was named head coach in 1982.
What was the biggest difference you noticed when Coach Welsh took over for
Coach Welsh was a strict disciplinarian. He expected to win. During our first practice,
Coach Welsh called everyone together in a rather vocal and direct way and told us to
leave the field; those who wanted to win and do things his way should come back
tomorrow. The players literally left the field. The Welsh era had started.
There were some great people and players on the team, as well. Among them: Jim
Dombrowski, Ron Mattes, Charlie McDaniels, Eric Griggs, Kevin Riccio, Barry Word,
Billy Smith, Nick Merrick, Quentin Walker, Lester Lyles and so many others.
2. What was it like playing quarterback for Coach Welsh?
Looking back it was a great experience. In fact, an honor. As you probably know, Coach
was himself a great quarterback. It was also a journey. The spring before my Junior
year I planned to play baseball - probably the sport I was better at - and Coach asked if I
wanted to compete for the starting QB position. Of course, I said "Yes." My baseball
career ended that day. Early my Junior year, I was not starting. Against Duke, I was
scheduled to start, so I invited many family and friends. The game day line up even
listed me as the starter. All that time to endure a red-shirt year, compete for the position
and I thought the opportunity had finally arrived. However, I did not start, and was
pissed. Reporter Doug Doughty questioned the process, asking how a player knows
when he will start. Out of frustration, I said "We call Cavalier Hotline." That made a
headline; Coach was pissed. He called me into his office for a serious chewing out...I
had no idea just how complete his vocabulary was and how piercing his look could be. I
was the starter from then through the end of my Senior year (probably lucky to still be on
Coach had some great assistants: Tom O'Brien, Tony Spaziani (sp), Tom Sherman -
my QB coach and a class guy. I was very fortunate to have Coach Sherm as my coach.
One regret...I would have liked to have played better for my teammates, coaches and
the school. Every loss hurt, especially when I could have done more to help the team.
3. In 1983, you led the Hoos to a record of 6-5, only the third time Virginia had
finished with a winning record in the previous 31 years. Why was the team able to
turn it around and have some success that season?
Part of it was that Coach expected to win and had us believing that we could / should
win. Another big reason, was the player commitment in the offseason. The two strength
coaches - John Gamble and Bill Dunn - were great. the team believed we could do
something special, and to some extent we did.
4. What's your favorite memory from your time at UVa?
Many. First, to be fortunate enough to attend UVa - academically, athletically, socially,
etc. Second, to become the starting QB and captain was an honor. Graduation day
was a great memory; one I covet. In between, we had a lot of fun and met some world
5. You and Rick Carlisle were roommates at UVa. Who had more luck with the UVa
co-eds, the starting guard on the nationally ranked basketball team, or the starting
quarterback on the up and coming football team? (Don't be modest, I'm sure Rick
will never see this.)
Easy one - the basketball player. Besides, he was better looking, played piano and did
not have his face covered by a helmet. Rick is a close friend and someone that I not
only value as a friend, but get inspiration from his discipline and success. I must say, it
was pretty cool to have an athlete of that caliber provide insight. Hopefully that also held
true for Rick when the hoops team was in season. We both enjoyed each others
relative success, which at times, included 'mingling' with some really good looking
|UVA Football - Random Musings|