In 1932, SI hired Eneas “Red” Kane, a nationally-ranked track athlete who had coached and taught there for several years, as the school’s first athletic director. He served in that position until 1936 when he left for a job at City Hall. He was replaced by Richard “Red” Vaccaro, a former star athlete at the college, who held the job until 1953. Following him were J.B. Murphy (1953-1967), Leo LaRocca ’53 (1966–2000) and Robert Vergara ’76 (2000– ). (More on these men in later chapters.)
The school began another sports tradition in 1933 when Fenton Gervase O’Toole ’34 wrote the words that generations of Ignatians have sung at rallies and games. The November 8, 1933, edition of The Red and Blue reported on this event:
“Here It is:
School Victory Song
To the Red and Blue we’ll all be true,
We’ll wave her banner to the sky,
We’ll fight for you, old Red and Blue,
We’ll fight for Saint Ignatius High!
And victory will be our goal —
For we will reach it, if we try,
So let us fight—with all our might—
We’re gonna fight, fight, fight, fight, fight!”
Ignatian’s Song of Victory Made by F. O’Toole
“The Victory Song’s here! A real cheery song of encouragement for the boys who wear the Red and Blue. For a long time loyal Ignatians have been discussing ways and means of instilling more pep and enthusiasm into our student body. Fenton O’Toole ’34 has come to the aid of all loyal Ignatians with a new victory song, to be sung at all games and rallies to the tune of a snappy military march.
“You will hear the song at the next rally but in the meantime learn the words so that you can warble the Red and Blue warriors on to victory. Get behind the new school song and make it a real student body accomplishment of the year.”
O’Toole, who later changed his first name to Felton, joined the Society of Jesus after graduating from SI and served as a priest for 50 years until his death. He ended his career as an assistant professor of English at SCU from 1975–83.
Though we have no other record of it, another song, SI’s Alma Mater, was discovered published on a 1944 football card.
Hail to St. Ignatius
Alma Mater Dear
Ancient is thy glory,
Valiant thy career
Loyal to thy standards
We shall ever be
St. Ignatius alma Mater.
Hail to Thee!
There is also no record of what music accompanied this song.