Cal Poly to Face No. 21 Northern Iowa Minus Fullback Joe Protheroe

Cal Poly conducted its walk-through Friday on a practice field adjacent to UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Cal Poly conducted its walk-through Friday on a practice field adjacent to UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – It's officially Stan Sheriff Field at the UNI-Dome.

Who is Stan Sheriff?

Sheriff played football at Cal Poly in the early 1950s under head coach Roy Hughes. He was the starting center all four years he played at Cal Poly (1950-53), including the undefeated, untied 1953 Mustang team that went 9-0.

Sheriff earned first-team Little All-American honors as well as United Press International All-American honorable mention praise en route to a spot on the West roster for the 1954 East-West Shrine Game at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco.

Sheriff also was named to the Little All-Coast first team, All-California Collegiate Athletic Association first team and All-Southern California Small Colleges first team.

He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1954 and played for the National Football League's Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns from 1954-57. He served in the U.S. Army in 1955.

Sheriff was a successful teacher, coach and administrator at the University of Northern Iowa from 1958-83 and the University of Hawaii from 1983-93.

At Northern Iowa, he was both athletics director and head football coach, compiling a 129-101-4 record with six conference titles, 15 winning seasons, four bowl appearances and twice was named Coach of the Year.

Sheriff (pictured at left in the 1954 East-West Shrine Game) was director of athletics at Hawaii from 1983-93 and passed away in January 1993. He is a member of the Cal Poly, Hawaii and Northern Iowa athletics halls of fame.

A 1950 George Washington High School (San Francisco) graduate, Sheriff earned first-team All-Academic/Athletic Association honors in 1948 and 1949 as a center and linebacker. He also was named to the 1949 All-Northern California Third Team.

Sheriff was posthumously inducted into the San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame on May 15, 2010. He also was inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995.

The field inside the UNI-Dome at the University of Northern Iowa is named Stan Sheriff Field and the 10,300-seat arena at the University of Hawaii is named Stan Sheriff Center.

The 2017 Cal Poly football team practiced Friday afternoon on a grass field adjacent to the UNI-Dome under partly cloudy skies and a temperature of 78 degrees in preparation for its final non-conference game Saturday at 2 p.m. PDT against the UNI Panthers.

The Mustangs (0-2) are without senior fullback Joe Protheroe, who injured his right knee in last week's 34-13 loss at San Jose State. Head coach Tim Walsh said Friday that Protheroe "in all likelihood is lost for the season" and, since the Clayton Valley Charter High School graduate has yet to redshirt, will likely do so and be ready for the 2018 campaign.

Jared Mohamed, another senior fullback who gained 97 yards on 22 carries against San Jose State in the absence of Protheroe, will start Saturday, backed up by senior fullback/tight end Reagan Enger.

Also absent for Saturday's game are sophomore cornerback Kam Dennis (head injury) and sophomore wide receiver Jake Smeltzer (shoulder injury). Mark Reza or Kevin Griffin will start in place of Dennis while Victor Beglitsoff replaces Smeltzer at the Z-Back position.

Northern Iowa (0-1), ranked No. 21 in the FCS media and coaches polls this week, fell 42-24 to Iowa State in Ames, Iowa last Saturday. Panther quarterback Eli Dunne completed 23 of 38 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns, but also was intercepted three times, Iowa State returning two of them for scores.

Northern Iowa's other top returners are senior defensive back Malcolm Washington and senior linebacker Jared Farley, both named to the 2017 Missouri Valley Football Conference Preseason first team. Farley led the Panthers in tackles a year ago with 80.

Northern Iowa leads the series against Cal Poly, 6-1. The Mustang won the series opener 38-24 in 1997 in San Luis Obispo and the Panthers have won all six meetings since, including a 34-20 decision two years ago inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

Northern Iowa has made the FCS playoffs 18 times, missing the 2016 postseason after compiling a 5-6 record. Head coach Mark Farley has guided the Panthers to the postseason 12 times in 17 years at the helm. UNI has claimed 16 MVFC titles and is 203-54-1 inside the UNI-Dome.

Saturday's game can be viewed on ESPN3.com and will be broadcast on ESPN Radio 1280 with Chris Sylvester providing the play-by-play and Alex Clupper adding color commentary. Pregame show begins at 1:30 p.m. PDT.