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Joe Bellino

  • Sport: Football
  • Decade Inducted: 80s

Kicker, punter, All-American and Heisman Trophy-winning halfback.

Born March 13, 1938, in Winchester, Massachusetts, Joe Bellino gained attention at the US Naval Academy, where he was a starting halfback for three years.

The 5’9″, 180-pound player made Naval Academy history when he became its first student to win the coveted Heisman Trophy, in 1960. He earned the honor for rushing 168 times for 834 yards, catching 17 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns, and throwing two touchdown passes on the halfback option. He was known not just for returning kicks, but for punting as well.

Also in 1960, Bellino was a consensus selection for All-American honors and named “Outstanding College Football Player of the Year.” His jersey number (27) has since been retired by the Naval Academy.

He joined the AFL’s Boston Patriots in 1965. He was elected into the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame in 1977 and the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.