L. Deckle McLean, Class of 1959: Football, Track
L. Deckle McLean '59

Deckle epitomizes the “scholar-athlete.” His exploits on the gridiron and the track and his conduct as a student and leader in the Peddie community make him worthy of induction.

Six varsity letters in football and track are evidence of Deckle’s success wearing the Old Gold & Blue. Starting as a 165-pound halfback for Coach Mickey Shuman, the man he credits with teaching him how to carry the ball and carry one’s self in life, Deckle’s achievements are recorded in stirring news accounts of multiple long touchdown runs. During a magical month in November 1958, he went 60 yards against BMI (he was subsequently voted to their “All Opponents Team”), scored two touchdowns to beat Pingry, and ran 65 yards for a touchdown against Hill (two other touchdown runs of 60 and 84 yards were called back because of penalties). Selections to All-State Prep and All-Delaware Valley teams followed.

In three years on the Annenberg Track, Deckle was rarely defeated at 60 or 100 yards. As a senior, he qualified for the national indoor meet. In the state spring meet, he won both the 100 and 220.

Deckle was a perennial class officer, Gold Key and House Committee member, dorm monitor, and even prom chairman. He also found time to succeed in the classroom as evidenced by degrees from Harvard and Boston College Law School. After a decade as a reporter and feature writer for newspapers in Providence and Boston, he returned to academia as a much-published professor of journalism at Western Illinois University. Recently retired after 24 years of teaching, he is writing fiction with a first novel delivered to his publisher this year — and even back to running, with several marathons completed and more in mind.

With his induction into the Peddie Sports Hall of Fame today, our school welcomes back one of its most accomplished alumni, Deckle McLean.