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Rough Riders gather to honor "Coach Till"

Thirty former Theodore Roosevelt players who earned All-Met recognition will be on hand to honor their former coach James Tillerson Saturday at a sold-out luncheon in New Carrollton.

Tillerson, to whom Roosevelt dedicated its football field in a ceremony last October, coached the Rough Riders from 1969 to ’93, taking them to seven Turkey Bowls, winning three times. Under Tillerson, Roosevelt won the last City Title football game when the Rough Riders defeated St. John’s in 1974.

Tillerson has been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease in recent years, and has not been able to make many public appearances.

Among those expected are Maurice Johnson (class of 1985), who played tight end for Temple and then the Philadelphia Eagles, and Leon Ellison (1977) who played linebacker at Ohio State.

“He wanted leaders,” said Charlton Saunders, former Roosevelt girls’ basketball coach, who is helping organize the event, “and those are the kids he made.”

By Alan Goldenbach  |  October 30, 2009; 5:55 PM ET
Categories:  DCIAA , Football , Theodore Roosevelt  
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