Joe Pa’s Best, Bahr None


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If God’s favorite gridiron football team is NOT Penn State … then WHY is the sky BLUE and WHITE??!! … Rest In Peace from all the haters, JOE PATERNO, they realize they broke your heart and ruthlessly killed you … On behalf of ALL in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a heartfelt thank you so very, very much for EVERYTHING.
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Legendary gridiron football coach JOE PATERNO and the PENN STATE UNIVERSITY program featured the luxury of outstanding field goal kicking all throughout the 1970s thanks, indirectly, to the Philadelphia native who had played such a pivotal role in the famous 1-0 victory by the United States over mighty England at the 1950 FIFA World Cup.

It had been, of course, future Penn State varsity soccer coach WALTER BAHR who provided the historic ball for JOE GAETJENS to head past England goalkeeper BERT “The Cat” WILLIAMS of Wolverhampton Wanderers and score what remains one of the most famous strikes in the history of the globe’s most glamorous tournament.

Bahr’s eldest son, Casey, became an All-American at the United States Naval Academy and also was chosen for the 1972 U.S. Olympic soccer team that competed at the ill-fated Munich Games in West Germany. In 1974, the former World Cup defender took over the soccer program in Happy Valley and would lead the Nittany Lions to the prestigous NCAA tournament an impressive twelve times in fourteen years on the job. Bahr’s two youngest sons, Chris and Matt, both played under him at Penn State and also achieved All-American status in soccer as had their older brother while also both gaining further notoriety and additional All-American recognition as field goal kickers for the iconic Paterno.

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CHRIS BAHR (99) had already been named All-American three times at Penn State before concluding an outstanding rookie season as an attacking midfielder for the Philadelphia Atoms during the 1975 North American Soccer League season. Chris then returned to Happy Valley for a final campaign under the beloved Joe Pa while serving as both placekicker and punter for the 1975 Penn State football team that went 9-3 and ranked # 10 in both the Associated Press and Coaches Polls after losing in the Sugar Bowl to the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant’s University of Alabama squad. In an era when the “soccer-style” kicker was still something of a novelty, Bahr boomed four field goals of over 50 yards and set a new NCAA record for field goal percentage in his All-American senior season for the Nittany Lion gridders.
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The versatile CHRIS BAHR (99) would be selected from Penn State University by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2nd round of the 1976 National Football League Draft, an incredibly high pick for a placekicker even by today’s standards. The Bengals had enjoyed the excellent work of former West German professional soccer player Horst Muehlmann for five years but the one-time Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen goalkeeper had gone to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1975. Bahr did not disappoint in Cincinnati and quickly attained All-Pro status at the NFL level over the course of a long career which included stints with the Oakland / Los Angeles Raiders and the San Diego Chargers.
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MATT BAHR (10) took over for his older brother, Chris, as the placekicker for Penn State gridiron football team and also attained All-American status in his senior season under Joe Paterno. Bahr broke his older brother’s NCAA record by making 22 of 27 field goals for an 81.5% accuracy rating and was a genuine weapon for a Penn State team which ended the regular season a perfect 11-0 before losing, once again, to the University of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. This famous defeat cost the Nittany Lions the coveted national championship but did not prevent Bahr from being selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 6th round of the 1979 National Football League Draft.
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MATT BAHR (10) had followed his two elder brothers, Casey and Chris, into the ranks of professional soccer and spent most of the 1978 North American Soccer League season with the forgettable Colorado Caribous before closing out the campaign with the old Tulsa Roughnecks. After his senior season kicking field goals for Penn State, the youngest Bahr signed on to bolster the backline of the fledgling Pennsylvania Stoners in the American Soccer League. In late July of 1979, the two-sport defender left Allentown School District Stadium in the Lehigh Valley and reported to his first NFL training camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who went on to defeat the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl that season and were crowned league champions.

2 Comments

Filed under Field Goal Kickers, Penn State

2 responses to “Joe Pa’s Best, Bahr None

  1. Matt

    Good Article Rolf

    “MATT BAHR (10) had followed his two elder brothers, Casey and Chris, into the ranks of professional soccer and spent most of the 1978 North American Soccer League season with the forgettable Colorado Caribous before closing out the campaign with the old Tulsa Roughnecks. ”

    Found that especially interesting

    • LOOSE CANNON

      Both CASEY and CHRIS BAHR played for the Philadelphia Atoms in the NASL … We will have to post about that sometime. And more about Philly native WALTER BAHR, too.