On September 11, 2001 Americans watched in bewildered horror as United Airlines Flight 175 became the second plane to crash into the world trade center. West Chester University and Golden Ram football will forever be linked to this tragic moment in American history.Michael Horrocks, a 1984 graduate of West Chester University, and a standout quarterback for the Golden Rams from 1981-1984 and former United States Marine, was the flight officer of United Flight 175, which was overtaken by terrorists and plunged into the World Trade Center. Seven year’s later, a group of Horrocks’ friends and teammates have established a scholarship in his name here at WCU.
The effort to create an endowed football scholarship to honor Horrocks is being led by family, friends, United Airlines colleagues and former teammates as well. Spearheaded by former Golden Rams John Mininno, Tom Schafer, Bruce Blake, Al DePippo, and Al Nimela the group hopes to create a permanent memorial to Horrocks at Farrell Stadium, in addition to the scholarship fund in his name.
“I was happy to hear from Mell Joseph that the student body was always interested and wanted to do something to honor Michael,” Mininno said. “Regrettably, we always believed that the student body forgot about 9/11 and John passing away on that day, we were pleased that they wanted to do this and wanted to for quite some time.”
On Sept. 12, SGA made a one thousand dollar donation to the Michael Horrock’s Memorial Scholarship Fund.
“The $1,000 donation was very generous and very helpful,” Mininno said. “We also agreed to work together on this venture in the future and work towards building a permanent memorial to Mike on South Campus.”
Horrock’s historic football career had many highlights, not the least of which being his first start under center for the Golden Rams. Starting at Quarterback, Horrocks led the Golden Rams to a stunning and historic upset over the University of Delaware Blue Hens, who were favored by 35 points going into that matchup. Delaware is 43-6-1 all time against the Golden Rams in this series. Since Horrock’s win over the Blue Hens, WCU is 3-21 at Delaware.
It is more then evident that while Horrocks was one of 3,000 Americans lost on in the 9/11 attacks, his memory will live on in the hearts of the West Chester University community for years to come.
Matt Lombardo is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at ML606516@wcupa.edu.