Fresno State has had honorary captains for all of its home games, all former players. But for the game on Saturday against the Air Force, on senior day and Military Appreciation Day, the Bulldogs honorary game captains all not only played at Fresno State, but served their country in the military, one representing the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
‘’To have that connection with Bulldog football and guys who went out and served their country afterward, to have then here for our Military Appreciation Day is something that is special, it’s special to reconnect them with our players and have our players realize that, hey, Bulldog football goes on forever and you can serve your country as a Bulldog or do a number of different things,” Coach Tim DeRuyter said.
”To have those guys come back who embody that is going to be fun. I’m looking forward to hearing those guys. It’s great that those guys get a chance to talk about service and not just getting your degree and trying to make more money, but what it means to serve your country and hopefully that message will get through to our players.”
The captains …
Fresno State letterman: 1951-‘53
U.S. Air Force
After graduating from Fresno State in 1954, Fanucchi played one season for the Chicago Cardinals and the following year accepted a commission in the U.S. Air Force. He was in the Air Force for 26 years and retired in Sept.,1980, as a lieutenant colonel. During his time in the military, Fanucchi was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.
Fresno State letterman: 1938-‘40
Mulkey is the first two-time All-American at Fresno State and the first Bulldogs’ player to be selected in the NFL Draft, taken in the 15th round and No. 139 overall by the Chicago Bears in 1941. The Dos Palos High graduate spent nearly eight months on Christmas Island during World War II, serving as a technician in the medical corps, and later was assigned to Dibble Hospital in Menlo Park working with wounded veterans. In 1944, while serving in the Army, he played for the San Francisco Clippers in the American Football League.
Fresno State letterman: 1956
U.S. Marine Corps
Rogers was a wide receiver and defensive back at Fresno State and spent two years in the Marine Corps before starting a Hall of Fame coaching career, going 126-77-7 in stops at Fresno State, San Jose State, Michigan State and Arizona State. He has been inducted into the Arizona State Hall of Fame, San Jose State Hall of Fame, Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame and Long Beach City College Hall of Fame. Rogers also coached the Detroit Lions in the NFL and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League.
Fresno State letterman: 1951-‘53
Stubblefield entered the U.S. Navy as a Seaman Recruit in January, 1951, and was a member of the 12-1 Surface Division while he completed his undergraduate education. He continues to serve his country as a representative of the U.S. Naval Academy. In 1973, the Navy assigned Capt. Stubblefield as the Central California Blue and Gold Officer, and he represents thirty schools in the Central Valley. He has served on five Congressional All Academy Nominating Committees and is currently assigned to the 19th Congressional District of California.