(RUFUS) KING OF THE HILL...PART 2

Looking back at the 1960 Rufus King football program was much different from both 1940 and today. In 1940 the varsity had 32-players; the “B” squad had 30 and there were sophomore and freshman teams with 39 and 44 players on each. Move froward to 1960 and the varsity had 48 members while the sophomore-freshman team had 64 players. Today, the varsity roster on WisSports.net shows about 32 players…sophomores, juniors and seniors. There is no freshman team and some on the varsity roster are academically ineligible but still practice as they work on their grades.


Gone was Wally Dreyer, off to be the head coach at UW-Milwaukee. In came Raymond Hendrickson who coached for one season, 1960. The future Hall of Fame coach took the team to a 7-1-0 record with their only loss to Washington, a tough 2-0 battle as the Generals again took the city conference crown. Hendrickson first coached for one year at Wisconsin High School in Madison in 1953 followed by five seasons at Augusta (1954-58) then he moved to Milwaukee and coached first at South Division in 1959, King in 1960 and then on to start up the school program at Milwaukee Marshall where he stayed for over 20-seasons.


Joe Beauchamp as a San Diego Charger

After Raymond Hendrickson left, Edward Kotecki became the head coach where the program thrived. Between 1961 and 1965 his teams were 32-7-2, winning two conference titles, coming in second twice and in his first season, 1961, they finished fourth despite a 6-2-0 record. One of the stars was Joe Beauchamp who was a talented halfback as well as a great defensive back. Joe scored six touchdowns but also hauled in six interceptions. Joe ran track and played basketball. As good as he was, he didn’t make the varsity until his junior year as he helped the 1960 team win the conference title with five interceptions. He really blossomed as a senior and then later at Iowa State. In 1966 he joined the San Diego Chargers and over the next 10-seasons he intercepted 23 passes and returned three for touchdowns.


Although he lived for a while in San Diego, Joe often returned to Milwaukee and would show up at King practices and talk to the coaches but especially the [layers to encourage them with their schoolwork and their play. I personally have heard testimonials from some of the former King coaches on how much his coming by meant to all. Sadly, Joe passed away in May of 2020.


The 1962 squad was 7-1-0 losing to Lincoln 19-7 but was the city champ. They repeated again in 1963 and had an overall 6-2-1 record. They lost their season opener against Homestead, 12-7. And later tied Custer 0-0 and lost to Milwaukee West late in the year 17-7. Coach Kotecki had them primed for a championship run but they fell just a bit short, finishing second in 1964 and 1965 going 7-1-1 and 6-1-1. Coach Kotecki moved on after the 1965 season to Cedarburg. In stepped Jerry Zuck.


I haven’t found out a lot about Coach Zuck beyond the time he was at King, 1966-73. His eight-year record was impressive with a 46-17-2 record, three city conference titles and one second place posting. What I have found about King was impressive as they were super on defense. I’m not showing the game scores for the 1968 season, 5-4-0 (5-3-0 in conference play) but look at the following stats: King only gave up 14 points in conference play. They caused 37 total fumbles, recovered 21 fumbles, intercepted 12 passes and had 25 sacks. They allowed only 439 yards.


They had some offense as well behind the play of quarterback Bill Stewart from the middle of the 1968 season through 1970. King went 5-4-0 with Stewart leading them to a 4-1-0 record as a starter. The 1969 team went 7-0-1, winning the conference title as King tied Tech for the #1 spot. Interestingly, Tech earned the #16 spot in the final Associated Press poll. It seemed that few voters thought much of the city conference that year. As early as the third week of the poll, Tech was ranked #10 but later dropped in the voter’s estimation. King was nowhere to be found in the polls even though they were leading the league in holding opponents just under 100-yards on offense. They also had some offense as junior quarterback Bill Stewart was 44-80-3-796-10 passing and rushed for 243 yards and scored four times. Senior end Curtis Davis hauled in 30 passes for 609 yards and eight touchdowns. Stewart and Davis were named to the All-City team.


In the 1970 opener, a 0-0 tie to Marshfield Columbus, the Generals only gained 187 yards but held the “Dons” to only 30 yards on the ground, zero yards passing and only one first down which was a result of a penalty. Columbus coach (A future member of the WFCA Hall of Fame) Walt Kroll was particularly impressed by the defensive line and Kings linebackers. King would have won the game except for fumbling twice, losing both inside the 10-yard line. Stewart led King to an undefeated season, 8-0-1 in 1970. Well, sort of. In the second to last AP po of 1970 posted on November 5, 1970, had King in the #11 spot with a 7-0-0 record. The next week and final week of the poll, posted on Wednesday, November 11 had King in the #10 spot with a 9-0-0 record. So, what’s correct? The record that I found in the yearbook and confirmed in newspaper research so 8-0-1 is correct.


How good of an athlete was Bill Stewart? He stared in football, basketball, baseball and track. Besides earning All-City in football as a junior and as a senior, All-City in basketball both seasons, he finished3rd in the 1969 state track meet competing in the high jump. But that isn’t all his accomplishments. In 1970 he earned 1st team All-State in football, the first African American to gain that honor. He was also Al-State in basketball. His stats for 1970 was 48-100-3-864-9 passing and 60-371-8 rushing and he also scored a touchdown on a pass reception. Bill went on to play football at Northern Illinois and basketball.


When Stewart left King, the cupboard wasn’t empty. Gary Pinkerton stepped into the quarterback spot for the 1971 and 1972 seasons, earning All-City and honorable mention All-State. The 1971 team went undefeated as they posted an 8-0-0 record. If you notice the 1971 record, they played a non-conference game against Muskego. Defense played a great part in the 1972 season. King only played seven conference games and posted a 5-1-1 record. The Generals allowed a total of 146 yards, holding their opponents to -175 yards on the ground. Super defense. The 1972 season and the conference split into two sections with six regular games and then the top teams played for the city title. There were now 14-teams in the conference, and it was harder to make balanced schedules. King’s lone loss that season was in the title game, a 14-9 loss to Boy’s Tech. Later in the 1980’s the conference would split, and some schools would play teams like those in Racine and Kenosha before forming into two Milwaukee City Conferences…The Blackbourn and The Richardson. Named to honor those two outstanding coaches who won many titles during the 1937-73 period.




By 1974 the team was heading south and Jerry Zuck moved on after directing his players to a 4-4-0 season. There would be some very good seasons in the future