Pat Abbruzzi

Last updated
Pat Abbruzzi
Pat Abbruzzi of the Montreal Alouettes football team Pat Abbruzzi de l'equipe de football des Alouettes de Montreal.jpg
Born:(1932-08-29)August 29, 1932
Warren, Rhode Island, U.S.
Died:June 3, 1998(1998-06-03) (aged 65)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Career information
Position(s) Running back
College University of Rhode Island
NFL draft 1955 / Round: 13 / Pick: 147
Career history
As player
1955–1958 Montreal Alouettes
Career highlights and awards
Awards 1955 CFL Most Outstanding Player
HonorsCFL All Star: 1955, 56

Pasquale "Pat" Abbruzzi (August 29, 1932 – June 3, 1998) was an American college and professional Canadian football running back and a successful high school football coach. Abbruzzi played collegiately for the University of Rhode Island (Class of 1955), and professionally for the Canadian Football League Montreal Alouettes for four years (19551959).

Contents

Early life and college career

Abbruzzi was born and raised in Warren, Rhode Island and is the younger brother of former NFL player, Lou "Duke" Abbruzzi. Abbruzzi attended Warren High School and went on to the University of Rhode Island following graduation.

As a member of the University of Rhode Island Rams football team, from 1951 to 1954, he was an all star running back. He rushed 562 times for a school record 3389 yards (6 yard per carry average) and 25 touchdowns. His greatest and record setting day was October 4, 1952, versus New Hampshire (a 27-7 win). In this game, Abbruzzi rushed for 306 yards, including a 99-yard run from scrimmage, both school records. He also scored 3 TDs. He was named All-Yankee Conference each of these years and named a New England All-Star from 1952 to 1954.

Professional football career

Abbruzzi was drafted twice by the Baltimore Colts of the NFL in 1954 (30th round, 352 overall) and 1955 (13th round, 147 overall). [1] Abbruzzi chose the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League for a pro career, mostly because they offered him a $500 bonus which he used for his honeymoon.

In four years with the Alouettes, 1955 to 1958, he played 49 regular season games and 2 Grey Cup matches (against the Edmonton Eskimos.) He rushed 700 times for a total of 3749 yards (5.4 yard average) with 25 rushing TDs and eleven 100 yard rushing games.

Abbruzzi's greatest year was his first in the CFL, 1955, when he was part of a dynamic Als team that contended for the 1955 Grey Cup. Abbruzzi rushed 182 times and led the CFL in rushing with 1,248 yards (6.9 yard average) and in touchdowns with 17 (his longest rush was 69 yards). Abbruzzi was named the second recipient of the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award, as well as a CFL All-Star, at the conclusion of the 1955 season. Abbruzzi continued as the Larks top rusher in 1956 with 1,062 yards and was named to a second consecutive CFL All-Star team in 1956. His 20 touchdowns that year stood alone as a CFL record until 1990 and was finally surpassed by Allen Pitts in 1994. In 1957, Abbruzzi had 809 yards, but an injury-plagued 1958 season would turn out to be his last, when Abbruzzi finished the year with 630 yards. In July 1959 he was traded to the Calgary Stampeders for Veryl Switzer during training camp but was released before the start of the 1959 regular season.

Teaching career and high school coaching career

After his professional career, Abbruzzi became a successful and much beloved Physical Education teacher and football coach at his alma mater, Warren High School in Warren, Rhode Island. He coached eight division champions over 26 years, and also coached baseball in his spare time. During the 1970s his football team set an interscholastic league record of 31 victories in a row. Known to all as "Doc", he was a legendary figure in Rhode Island high school football.

Abbruzzi was named to the University of Rhode Island Athletic Hall of Fame in 1972 and the Rhode Island Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1976. He was a charter member of the Warren Athletic Hall of Fame (1998) and in 2005 Pat was named to the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Hall of Fame. He was later elected to the Sons of Italy Athletic Hall of Fame.

Death

Pat Abbruzzi died on June 3, 1998. [1]

Related Research Articles

Warren Moon American football quarterback

Harold Warren Moon is a former gridiron football quarterback who played professionally for 23 seasons. He spent the majority of his career with the Houston Oilers of the National Football League (NFL) and the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (CFL). In the NFL, Moon also played for the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, and Kansas City Chiefs.

Kelvin Anderson is a former professional gridiron football player. As a running back, he rushed for over 1,000 yards in eight consecutive seasons in the Canadian Football League, a league record. He won the CFL's Grey Cup championship twice, as a member of the Calgary Stampeders, in 1998 and 2001.

Bernie Faloney American football player (1932-1999)

Bernie Faloney was a professional football player in the Canadian Football League and an outstanding American college football player at the University of Maryland. Born in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, Faloney is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the Western Pennsylvania Hall of Fame, and the University of Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame. Faloney's jersey #10 was retired by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1999. In 2005, Faloney was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. In 2006, Faloney was voted to the Honour Roll of the CFL's Top 50 Players of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.

Leo Everett Lewis Jr. was an American gridiron football player and coach. He played college football as a running back for Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri from 1951 to 1954 and professionally with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL) from 1955 to 1966. He served as the head football coach at his alma mater, Lincoln, from 1973 to 1975.

Damon Allen American football quarterback

Damon Allen is a former professional quarterback who played in the Canadian Football League. He is currently fourth in all-time professional football passing yards and second in all-time CFL passing yards after he was surpassed for first place by the Montréal Alouettes' Anthony Calvillo on October 10, 2011. He is pro-football's combined passing & rushing leader with a total of 84,301 yards. Allen retired as professional football's all-time leading passer with 72,381 passing yards after he surpassed Warren Moon's total of 70,553 yards on September 4, 2006 in the annual Labour Day Classic. He also retired in third place in all-time CFL rushing yards with 11,920 yards, behind Mike Pringle and George Reed. The 2007 season marked Allen's twenty-third season in the CFL and he officially announced his retirement on May 28, 2008 at age 44. Allen is the younger brother of Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen.

Anthony Calvillo American football quarterback

Anthony Calvillo is the assistant head coach for the Montreal Carabins football team in U Sports and is a former Canadian Football League (CFL) quarterback. He is professional football's all-time passing yards leader, and first in all-time CFL passing yards. In his career, he passed for 79,816 yards and is one of seven professional quarterbacks to have completed over 400 touchdown passes. Calvillo won three Grey Cup championships in 2002, 2009, and 2010, and named Grey Cup Most Valuable Player in 2002. He also won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award three times, in 2003, 2008, and 2009, which ties him for second all-time behind Doug Flutie. Calvillo announced his retirement on January 21, 2014. Calvillo was an assistant coach for the Alouettes from 2015 to 2017 and with the Toronto Argonauts in 2018.

Mike Pringle (gridiron football) Player of American and Canadian football

Michael A. Pringle is an American former professional gridiron football player. A running back, he had a successful career in the Canadian Football League (CFL), during which he set or tied almost every significant league records for the position. He played college football for the California State University, Fullerton Titans and was twice signed by National Football League (NFL) teams, though he never played a game in the NFL.

Jackie Parker American football player (1932-2006)

John Dickerson "Jackie" Parker was an American gridiron football player and coach. He was an All-American in college football and an outstanding professional football player in the Canadian Football League at the running back, quarterback, defensive back, and kicker positions. He is primarily known for his play with the Edmonton Eskimos. Later in his career, he played for the Toronto Argonauts and the BC Lions, and coached the Eskimos and Lions after his playing career ended.

Avon Cobourne American professional Canadian football running back

Avon Cobourne is an American former professional gridiron football running back who was most recently a running back coach for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was a running back for the West Virginia Mountaineers football team from 1999 to 2002 before entering the NFL.

James C. Caroline was an American former gridiron football player. He played college football at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign where he was a consensus All-American in 1953. After a year in the Canadian Football League (CFL) with the Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes, Caroline played for ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL) with the Chicago Bears. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Tracy Ham is a former Canadian Football League quarterback for the Edmonton Eskimos, Toronto Argonauts, Baltimore Stallions, and the Montreal Alouettes. He was known for his abilities as a dual-threat quarterback. In his college football career with Georgia Southern he became the first quarterback to rush for 3,000 yards and pass for 5,000 yards in a career. Ham is an inductee of both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Gerry James Canadian football player

Gerald Edwin James is a former professional Canadian football running back and professional ice hockey player. He played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL). His is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, like his father, Eddie James, who also played for the Blue Bombers. James was born in Regina, Saskatchewan.

George Dixon (Canadian football) Canadian football player and coach

George Dixon was a professional Canadian football player and a Canadian Interuniversity Sport football coach.

Willie Burden was a professional Canadian football player with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League, who subsequently became an academic and sports administrator. He was made a member of the Calgary Stampeder's Wall of Fame in 1992, and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2006, Burden was voted to the Honour Roll of the CFL's top 50 players of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.

Gerry Dattilio is a former professional Canadian football quarterback in the Canadian Football League.

Chuck Hunsinger American football player, running back (1925-1998)

Charles Ray Hunsinger was an American college and professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) and the Canadian Football League (CFL) for six seasons during the 1950s. Hunsinger played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Chicago Bears of the NFL and the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL.

44th Grey Cup

The 44th Grey Cup game was played on November 24, 1956, before 27,425 fans at Varsity Stadium in Toronto.

Brian Fryer is a retired football player who starred at wide receiver for the University of Alberta, and played professionally for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League and the Edmonton Eskimos and Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League.

Charles "Charley" Horton is a former American football halfback who played one season with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL) with the eleventh overall pick of the 1956 NFL Draft. He played college football at Vanderbilt University and attended St. Petersburg High School in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Tavares Bolden is an American former professional Canadian football quarterback who played in the Canadian Football League (CFL).

References

  1. 1 2 Maher, Tod; Gill, Bob (2013). The Canadian Pro Football Encyclopedia: Every Player, Coach and Game, 1946–2012. Maher Sports Media. p. 139. ISBN   978-0983513667.