1972 Hall of Honor
The exceptional ability and leadership of the late “Jack” McAuliffe helped Beloit to a postwar period of remarkable athletic achievement. A football quarterback, he earned all-conference and all-state berths as an excellent passer, runner, punter and defensive stalwart. Beloit won 14 games, lost five and tied four during his three years, with the 1923 teams that he captained finishing 6-1-1 and winning both the Midwest and State Conference championships. “Mac” was the canter as Beloit basketball teams captured three successive state and Midwest titles, winning 39 of 41 games and going undefeated in 1921-22 and 1923-24. The track team, on which he was a vaulter, hurdler and relay member, won state crowns three times and conference and Wisconsin Relays honors twice each. McAuliffe raised the state pole vault mark to 11 feet 9 inches in 1922 and a year later, when he also was conference champion, boosted it to 12 feet 1 inch, a height that remained a school standard for nearly 30 years. After college, he played with the original Green Bay Packers, competed in professional basketball and coached high school sports. He died at age 70 last December in his native Butte, Montana.
The record-shattering performances of “Chet” Otis sparked Beloit swim teams to unparalleled success in the early ‘50s. Turning to swimming seriously during a year’s pre-college sting in the Marines, Otis was undefeated in the breast stroke in three years of varsity competition and established numerous pool records at home and away. Team captain as a junior and senior, he led the Buccaneers to their first unbeaten season in 1953 – when they won seven meets and the Midwest Invitation and Central Collegiate championships – and to 19 consecutive victories, many over major schools. Midwest conference champion in 1951, when as a sophomore he broke the old 200-yard standard by nearly eight seconds, and member of the victorious 200- and 400-meter teams in the East West Relays in Florida later that year, Otis also was anchorman for record-setting Beloit relay squads. He gained national ranking in 1952 with a school mark that still stands – 2:19.5 in the 200, a time which then was fourth best in the nation. Nationally ranked again in 1953, he capped his career with a third-place finish in the 200 in the NCAA meet, before competition was divided into university and college divisions.