By Charlie Barnes
Seventy years ago, on November 15th 1947, four Pikes met at The Mecca to discuss founding a new chapter at Florida State University. These four – Ken MacLean, Harry Ryder, David Wilcox and Joe Clark – were initiates of other chapters: Maclean and Wilcox at Florida, Ryder at Miami and Clark at Auburn.
The early Pike colony was distinguished through its association with these men. Harry Ryder became a Federal Judge. Wilcox was a renowned music educator and perfomer. Clark served as the first President of ‘Pi Kappa Colony’ and enjoyed a prosperous career in the insurance business. Ken MacLean was the Seminoles’ leading receiver and ground gainer, and caught the first pass in FSU football history.
Our chapter’s history is rich with the names of campus leaders in service, politics and athletics. Five Student Body Presidents since 2003 are Delta Lambda alumni, and Pike is still the only IFC fraternity in FSU history to produce a Rhodes Scholar (Dr. Joe O’Shea ’05).
And for the last 50 years, Pike has been the fraternity name most closely associated with varsity athletics at FSU.
The chapter was handed great opportunity when the ‘new’ house at 218 South Wildwood opened in 1967. We knew we needed to build a strong identity in order to become competitive with the best fraternities at FSU. One method was to increase the chapter size and recruit more men of ambition and achievement. We also sought to enhance the chapter’s profile and increase the leadership depth by recruiting varsity athletes into Pike.
In the 50 years since the house opened in 1967 it’s entirely possible that no other chapter of any fraternity in the country can match what we’ve done in this arena, even though we were off campus through all of the 1990s!
In order to catalogue all the NCAA varsity athletes who are Florida State Pikes, I began with the research of Bob Perrone, FSU’s athletics historian. Bob has compiled a list of 9,800 names of men and women athletes who have been on Seminole teams since 1947. He has assembled over 7,700 photos.
For Delta Lambda, the most valuable resource has been the 32 published issues of Pikeboy and Pikes Illustrated that extend back to 1971 (again, with the exception of the 1990s). And, we have Pike National’s printout with all the names and initiation dates. Old Florida State yearbooks available online are also an important source of names.
Assembling all 357 names over 70 years, with any expectation of accuracy, is a daunting task. Fortunately for Pike there are a few Brothers who do possess detailed knowledge of the chapter’s history. I do not think any other fraternity has the resources in terms of archived materials or shared memories to come even close to doing the same thing. Other fraternities at FSU have a few pictures on the wall, or they’ve heard that ‘some guy’ was a big deal long ago. That’s unfortunate because some of the school’s most high-profile athletes were Lambda Chis, Phi Delts, SAEs, Theta Chis, etc. That important part of any chapter’s identity is too-often lost or discarded along the way.
So enjoy the memories and pride expressed in this document. We already know the value of campus leaders to the chapter. Most alumni are aware and appreciative of the historical importance of varsity athletes to Delta Lambda.
We have identified 357 Brothers who participated in varsity athletes at FSU since 1947. That number represents slightly more than 10% of the 2,645 initiated Brothers as of 1-30-16. A historical review shows that individual varsity athletes tend to remain active or fall away in the same proportion as non-athlete Brothers. Some remain life-loyal to Delta Lambda, and some leave the house after chapter days and never look back. So it is with the entire roster.
Many individual Pike varsity athletes at FSU have had a transformational impact on the success of the chapter, either through their leadership as chapter officers, or as men who proudly carry the Pike name onto the playing fields.
As to the names and faces you’ll see on subsequent pages, only NCAA varsity athletes were included. Therefore, you will see no reference to, for instance, four-time All-American Lacrosse star Corey Noonan ’06 and the many Brothers who played that club sport. There is no mention of Chris Wilfore ‘02, captain of the FSU Soccer team for three years, and all the members who played with him. Weight-lifting champion Jimmy Keen’s ‘73 photo does not appear either. Also missing are the two Pikes who portrayed Chief Osceola in Doak campbell Stadium: Jim Kidder ’78 and Josh Halley ’01. FSU’s Rugby team was founded and captained by Danny Klein ’72 and Jim Provencher ’71. Many of the Brothers who play club sports have contributed greatly to Delta Lambda, but the focus of this document is NCAA varsity players.
Of the 2,645 initiates, more than 350 Brothers have worn the Garnet & Gold of FSU as NCAA varsity athletes. Some won NCAA All-American honors, but every man who participated can proudly say that he represented Pi Kappa Alpha and the FSU Seminoles on a varsity squad.
Each man contributed to the success of his particular team.
Among the 357 men identified as having participated in a varsity sport, Delta Lambda can boast:
…29 NCAA All-Americans! That number includes three Academic All-Americans and three Freshman All-Americans.
…18 Team Captains.
…10 Legacy Dads! These are alumni whose sons are also Pikes at FSU.
…7 of these men have served Delta Lambda as SMC (President) and 9 more men served in other chapter offices.
Our varsity roster includes three sets of twins: Tom & Terry Anton ‘74, Henry and Joe Ostaszewski ’88, and Ed and Jim Voyles ’14. The Antons were very active but they hated the golf coach so they transferred to Florida, where Terry eventually won All-SEC honors.
Our roster includes an astonishing seven sets of father & son Pike athletes: Austin Droogsma ‘14 and his father Mike Droogsma ‘84; Steven Gabbard ’14 and his father Steve Gabbard ’87; Brett Lindquist ’81 and his son Cole Lindquist ’14 (Cole is an FSU Lacrosse star); Barry Smith ’72 and his son Andrew Smith ’10 (Andrew lettered in football at Georgia Tech but was initiated at Delta Lambda); Jesse Vance ’80 and his son Josh Vance ’04; Randy Allen ’84 and his son Brandon Allen ’14; and Jimmy Graganella ’14 and his son Nick Graganella ’12.
Three more athletes/Legacy Dads – David Rancourt ‘84, Craig Mateer ’86 and John Madden ’78 (deceased) have sons who are also Delta Lambda Brothers. It also bears mention that Coach Bobby Bowden ‘49 (Samford University) was present for the initiations of his son Jeff Bowden ’80 and his grandson Michael Madden ’14.
Delta Lambda Chapter Presidents (SMC) include Fred Miller ’73 (football), Steve LaMontagne ’80 (football), Austin Albury ’09 (track & cross country), Ed D’Avanzo ’79 (baseball), David Rancourt ’84 (football), Steve Sorensen ’84 (football) and Nick Thomson ’11 (swimming).
Some other chapter officers include Mike Halfacre ’85 and Josh Baggs ’01 as vice-presidents.
Phil Doumar ’08 was Pike Rush Chairman for two years and was responsible for many of the high profile pledges in the modern era.
There are additional interesting sidebar stories.
FSU pole vaulter an All-ACC Academic Honor Roll student Jared Sweetser ’01 was the first man to join the new Pike colony in 2000. He de-pledged another fraternity in order to join Pike.
Clint Trickett ‘10 transferred to West Virginia and started his entire senior season as quarterback for the Mountaineers.
Punter Dillon Kidd ’11 transferred to Iowa and earned All-Big 10 honors while playing for the Hawkeyes.
One of the most interesting stories is Kyle Long ‘08, recruited to play baseball at FSU and initiated at Delta Lambda as a freshman. Kyle left FSU after his freshman year, and four years later he was a starting offensive lineman for the University of Oregon and an NFL Draft pick in 2013. He made the Pro Bowl in 2013 and 2014, and signed a long term contract that will bind him to the Bears through 2021. I’m told Kyle keeps in touch with his Delta Lambda pledge brothers even today.
And, of course, Ken MacLean ’44 was the original Delta Lambda Founder, and is credited with being the student who pushed through starting a football program at FSU. And, Ken caught the first completed pass in FSU football history, October 18, 1947.
Twins Joe ’88 and Henry ’88 Ostaszewski head toward the sidelines at Doak in 1991. The twins were mainstays on the Seminole defensive line at the beginning of The Dynasty. The brothers went their separate ways in the NFL, Henry to the Steelers and Joe to the Dolphins. In 2012 Joe was a finalist on NBCs “The Biggest Loser” dropping his weight from a high of 364 lbs. to a svelte 217 lbs.
Pledge Brothers Tony Yoemans and John Brown celebrate a victory over Florida.
The Anton twins, Tom and Terry ‘75 The Voyles twins, Jim and Ed ‘14
One of my favorite Pike pictures. Fall rush 1986. FSU Basketball stars Randy Allen ’85 and David Shaffer ’85 tower above awe-struck, autograph-seeking rushees at the Pike house, 1986.
*Numbers next to names indicate the year of Initiation into Pi Kappa Alpha at FSU.
Pikes All – 2018 ACC Champions
2013 National Championship Football team – Pikes all!