Sept. 25, 2013
CHICAGO, Ill. -- Legendary Volunteer football player Hank Lauricella is among the inductees for the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (NIASHF) Class of 2013. He will inducted as part of the class on Nov. 2, 2013 at Victoria Beau Jolie in Schiller Park, Illinois.
Lauricella was "Mr. Every-thing" during one of the most prominent stretches in UT football history. His small stature - 5-foot-11, 175 pounds - fit the mold of a Tennessee tailback in Gen. Robert R. Neyland's single-wing attack.
The 1948 recruits have been called the best freshman class in Vol history, and it is hard to argue.
By his 1950 sophomore campaign, Lauricella called all the plays as the tailback and also played safety. He earned All-SEC, but his best was yet to come.
In the 1951 Cotton Bowl against Texas, Lauricella set up Tennessee's first score with perhaps the most memorable run in school history. From the Vols' 20-yard line, Lauricella knifed his way through the Longhorns' defense and reversed field three times to allow for blocking help before finally being brought down at the Texas 5. The 75-yard run led to the Vols' first touchdown in a 20-14 win. Lauricella finished with 131 yards on the day.
He was named All-SEC and All-America in 1951, averaging 7.9 yards per carry in leading the Vols to a 10-0 regular season. Tennessee was named national champions prior to its Sugar Bowl appearance and Lauricella finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting.
During his career, Lauricella helped Tennessee to a 28-4-1 overall record, including a streak of 20 consecutive wins. He led the team in passing, rushing, total offense and punting his junior and senior years.
Lauricella later was elected to the Louisiana State House (8 years) and Senate (24 years).
Here is the full release from the NIASHF:
The Induction Committee of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (NIASHF) announced today the inductees for the Class of 2013. This year's class includes: former Chicago Blackhawk Eddie Olczyk, who played 17 seasons in the NHL, accumulated almost 800 points, and was elected to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012; Johnny Antonelli, five-time National League All-Star and the National League Pitcher of the Year in 1954 (played with the Milwaukee Braves, San Francisco Giants, and Cleveland Indians during his career); Hank Lauricella, starting halfback for the 1950 & 1951 University of Tennessee National Championship squads, and 1981 College Football Hall of Fame Inductee; Larry Lucchino, current President and CEO of the Boston Red Sox, and the only man with three World Series Rings, a Super Bowl Ring, and a Final Four Watch; Steve Palermo, former American League Umpire, and the recipient of the 1994 Arthur Ashe Courage Award; and the late, Constatine "Cus" D'Amato, boxing manager and trainer of boxing champions Mike Tyson, Floyd Patterson, and José Torres.
This year's induction ceremony marks the organization's 36th Anniversary and will take place on November 2, 2013 at a dinner dance that celebrates the organization's traditions and culture. It will be held at Victoria Beau Jolie in Schiller Park, Illinois. Tickets are available and can be purchased by calling the organization at 312-226-5566.
The NIASHF annually inducts Italian American athletes that have not only succeeded in sport, but in life. These world-class sports figures represent the NIASHF ideals and its values of Family, Friends, Faith, and Community.