FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chicago, IL (March 26, 2014) – Francis “Hank” Lauricella, a native of Harahan in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, who flourished during one of the most prominent stretches in University of Tennessee Football history, died Tuesday, March 25, at Ochsner Medical Center in Jefferson, La. He was 83. An inductee with the Class of 2013 in the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (NIASHF), the Hall sends its deepest condolences to the entire Lauricella family.
Widely known as “Mr. Everything” during his three year career at the University of Tennessee, Lauricella helped Tennessee to a 28-4 record, ran for 13 touchdowns, passed for 16 touchdowns, and led the team in passing, rushing, total offense, and punting during his junior and senior years. He led the Volunteers to National Championships in 1950 and 1951, and became Tennessee’s first Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1951. After graduating with a degree in Business Administration, Lauricella played in the NFL with the Dallas Texans in 1952, before serving two years in the U.S. Army.
When he returned from Korea, Lauricella became General Partner and Manager of the Lauricella Land Company, a family real-estate operations and home builder in New Orleans. In 1964, Lauricella was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives, where he served two terms before moving to the Louisiana Senate. He served six terms in the State Senate and retired from public office in 1996.
In 2008, Hank and his wife Betty were honored at the University of Tennessee with the dedication of The Hank and Betty Lauricella Center at Neyland Stadium, which provides a space for former Tennessee varsity athletes to gather before football games. Lauricella has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame (1981), Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame (1982), Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame (1983), and the Louisiana American Italian Sports Hall of Fame (1986).
A wake will be held at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home in New Orleans on Tuesday, April 1 from 5-9 PM. There will be a visitation, with Mass to follow, from 10 AM – 1 PM on Wednesday, April 2 at St. Rita Church in Harahan, La.
The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving honorable values through sport. Founded in 1977 by George Randazzo, the Hall of Fame has 238 inductees. The organization was founded on the values of Family, Friends, Faith, and Community and has been committed to providing support to students and youth of all backgrounds through its charitable programs, Second Wind and A Level Playing Field. The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame is located in Chicago’s famed Little Italy neighborhood, at 1431 W. Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60607. For more information on the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, please visit www.niashf.org.
Brandt Bernat – firstname.lastname@example.org, (312) 226-5566