Edward J. "Ace" Lynch '24 (Football, Basketball, Baseball)

Inducted 1977

Eddie “Ace” Lynch was Catholic University’s first great athlete. During his senior football season (1923), he played fullback, threw passes, punted, returned kicks and was the team’s placekicker. He had a hand in every point amidst the final game of his career, a 26-0 victory over George Washington. Lynch returned two interceptions for touchdowns (30 and 45 yards), kicked two extra points and threw two TD passes. On his 45-yard interception, he shook off five would-be tacklers.

The Dec. 4, 1923 edition of CUA’s student newspaper, The Tower, said he “played the best defensive game of the year. His punts carried twice the distance of Lamar’s and he got off one spiral in the first quarter that traveled sixty five yards.” The Washington Post named him its All-District fullback.

Lynch was the Cardinal basketball team’s leading scorer as a junior (174 points) and senior (142). The latter year, the Post accorded him first-team All-District honors. In 1922-23, he was the Cards’ designated free throw shooter and made 104 of the club’s 106 foul shots. It wasn’t until the next year that a fouled player shot his own free throws. The Cardinals won the South Atlantic Championship in 1921 and ’23.

Lynch, a native of Northampton, Mass., got his career off to a great start when, in a season-opening 29-27 victory over visiting Lehigh, he hit the winning shot just before the game ended. He tallied 19 points later that year in a 23-17 victory over Princeton. The Tower described him in a Nov. 20, 1923 story as “rated by many the best guard in Eastern Collegiate basketball.”

On the baseball diamond, Lynch played in the outfield for the Redbirds. CUA’s 1922 yearbook, The Cardinal, described him as a “powerful hitter who can snare anything that comes near him.”

Lynch went on to play four seasons in the NFL and, as a rookie in 1925, was named first-team All-Pro. He also played with a team from Detroit in the American Professional Basketball League. In a 1926 game in Washington he was introduced as, “A world war veteran, C.U.’s star in three branches of sport, the man who outplayed Red Grange … Eddie Lynch.”

With a large contingent of CUA students cheering him on, he was presented with a commemorative cup, upon which was engraved: “Edward James Lynch, Greatest All-Round All-Time Athlete of C.U. – The Student Body.”

Chris McManes
January 2012