"Buff" Donelli comes here today in a new role, as head football
coach of a pro eleven seeking the scalp of the boys from the old home
town, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Buffer took over as boss of the Cleveland Rams last July 3 and has cleaned
up a pair of exhibitions against the Boston Yankees and the Sampson
Naval Training Staiton.
the all-time grid greats as a player at Duquesne University, the Buffer
competed in the first years of the Layden era. He stayed on after graduation
and worked his way up from freshman coach to assistant varsity coach
to the chief job plus the athletic directorship.
the time, as player and as coach, he was a winner. Since he started
mingling with the hard-bitten pros, Dorielli hasn't done so well in
the won and lost column.
piloted the Pittsburgh Steelers for five games without a victory in
1941 during that hectic autumn when he was boss of the pros on Sundays
and sitting on the bench behind Steve Sinko and pulling the strings
when the Bluffites were playing.
Elmer Layden ended that strange dual role by ordering his one-time protege
to either give up the pros or the collegians. Buff hopped a plane for
the West Coast and the St. Mary's game, and Walt Kiesling took over
Duquesne quit the sport Donelli seemed reconciled to do likewise for
the duration, but he bobbed up as backfield coach of the Brooklyn Dodgers
won only 2 out of 10, but that isn't the entire story. Look back to
Ebbets Field on Sunday, November 14: 1943. The Phil-Pitts, with 2 wins,
2 losses and one tie were facing the eastern cellar dwellers, the Dodgers,
who had 1 victory and 6 losses.
locals were hot on the heels of the leading Washington Redskins, a club
they had deadlocked in Shibe Park and were destined to upset later in
Griffith Stadium. Brooklyn had been a 17-0 victim in early season, but
Donelli and Head Coach Pete Cawthon turned the tables this time.
final score was Brooklyn 13 Steagles 7, and the losers passed all but
mathematically out of the eastern title race. Buff is back today and
in the underdog role again. So it behooves the Steelers to watch their
step. That Donelli is due for a winner as a head pro coach.