It's now 54 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on September 2, 2017, in Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii - home of the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.
To help pass those long summer days until football season starts, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, we'll continue the 100-day football countdown each day until kickoff.
Art Byrd's #54 is retired, Art's jersey and number - 54- was the first to be retired in Western Carolina's athletic history.
#54 Art Byrd
Art Byrd was Western Carolina's first football All-American Selection in 1949 when he helped lead the Catamounts to the North State Conference championship, the school's first football title. He was a two-way player as an offensive and defensive lineman who amazingly was in on every play of every game in the 1948 season. Helped the Catamounts to an 8-2 regular season mark in 1949 and their first North State Conference title. That team additionally holds the distinction of being WCU's first to earn a postseason bid, playing in the Smoky Mountain Bowl in Bristol, Va.
According to his head coach, Tom Young, Byrd "epitomized the spirit of those fine football teams that put us on the map." Byrd was a catalyst of three winning records in his four seasons (1946-49). Byrd ss the first Western Carolina student-athlete to have their jersey retired, and he was inducted into the Western Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990, WCU's first-ever induction class.
Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations
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