Tag: Sports – Football

Michael Thomas “Mike” Roarke

Michael T. “Mike” Roarke (1930-2019) was born on November 8, 1930 to Walter J. and Mary T. (nee Riley) Roarke in West Warwick, Rhode Island where he was raised through his high school years. Vice President of the West Warwick High School Class of 1948, Mike was a schoolboy star in baseball and football in

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Frank F. Frisch

Frank Frisch was an American baseball player and manager. He played in Major League Baseball for the New York Giants (1919–1926) and St. Louis Cardinals (1927–1937), and managed the Cardinals (1933–1938), Pittsburgh Pirates (1940–1946), and Chicago Cubs (1949–1951). After his retirement, he moved to Charlestown, Rhode Island, where he spent the last 17 years of

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William T. Halloran

William T. Halloran was the former Assistant Postmaster of Providence Post Office and for many years one of the nation top football officials, both in professional and collegiate circles. His part-time refereeing and umpiring avocation were paralleled by full-time work for the Providence Post Office. He was assistant postmaster when he retired in 1963 after

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Bernard V. Buonanno Sr.

Bernard V. Buonanno was a graduate of Classical High School, teacher of French and Latin, Counselor, and, in 1936, returned to coach three sports, football, track, and basketball. He brought Classical championships in football and indoor track. He was a former member of the State Board of Regents and the Rhode Island Board of Education.

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Charles A. “Rip” Engle

Charles A. “Rip” Engle was Head Football Coach at both Brown University and Penn. State. In sixteen years with the Nittany Lions, he never had a losing season. Mr. Engle is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, and a past President of the American Football Coaches Association.

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Commander John A. McIntyre

Commander John A. McIntyre was a former U.S. Navy flying ace in World War II and the Korean War. He held distinctions that included the Silver Star, two distinguished Flying Crosses, and four Air Medals. He was a former three-sport star athlete for LaSalle Academy, and later an All-America football player at Notre Dame. A

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Joseph Vincent Paterno

Joe Paterno, 1926-2012, was one of the winningest coaches in the nation. He never had a losing season during his tenure as Head Coach of head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions from 1966 to 2011. A Brooklyn native, he attended Brown University where he played football both as the quarterback and a cornerback.

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James W. Norman

James W. Norman of South Kingstown, was a multi-award winning Sports Information Director at the University of Rhode Island and a radio voice of the Rams for twenty-eight years. He has served as President of Word Unlimited, the Providence Gridiron Club, and the URI Ram’s Club. He is a member of the Universities Athletic Hall

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DeOrmand “Tuss” McLaughry

DeOrmond “Tuss” McLaughry was an American football player and coach. He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Westminster (PA) College, in 1916. During his early days in coaching, McLaughry spent his spare time playing professional football with the Massillon (Ohio) Tigers. Knute Rockne, famed coach at the University of Notre Dame, was a

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Thomas E. Eccleston

Thomas Eccleston was a famed Rhode Island educational administrator, teacher, and coach, whose Burrillville teams won several state titles in baseball, football, and hockey. He continued on as a hockey coach, becoming what was believed to be the oldest high school coach in the United States. A former Principal and Superintendent in Burrillville, he was

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Louis A. R. Pieri

Louis Pieri was an astute, daring, and successful businessman who, with energy, ambition, and hard work, achieved financial and sports eminence. One of the best-known sports promoters of the twentieth century, Pieri was the owner of the Rhode Island Auditorium, the Providence Reds hockey team, and part-owner of the Boston Celtics basketball team. During his

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Joseph Gomes

Most Rhode Islanders recognize the strong relationship between their state and professional baseball at major and minor league levels. Few, however, are aware that this connection extends to the professional Black teams in the Negro Leagues during the age of racial segregation in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. In those years, African Americans participated in

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George Pulliam

George Pulliam, 1923-1956, is regarded by some as Rhode Island’s greatest all-around schoolboy athlete. At Cranston High, he won All-State honors twice in football and hockey and once in baseball, where he played at every position but catcher. For his extraordinary efforts he was nicknamed “The Cranston Crusher.” He was the fullback and star of

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John E. Moran

John E. Moran, 1913-1997, served as President and Co-founder of McLaughin & Moran Distributors, which was a recognized leader in its’ field for over fifty years. An outstanding all-state athlete out of LaSalle Academy, he starred for Manhattan College in football and baseball. For the next fifty years, with time out for U.S. Naval service,

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Frederick D. Tootell

Frederick Tootell was an Olympic gold winner who became nationally famous as a collegiate track coach at the University of Rhode Island.  He showed his promise as an athlete at Bowdoin College, earning all-Maine and All-New England honors as a football tackle as well as starring on the track team. At Bowdoin, he was a

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Pearce Johnson

The late Pearce Johnson was one of Rhode Island’s most proficient organizers who became a top executive in USO, producing and directing 125 USO shows as supervisor and President of Providence-Narragansett Bay USO, and a member of the USO National Council. He was awarded by the USO for thirty-five years of distinguished service. He also

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Fredrick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard

Frederick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard, 1894-1986, came from Lane Tech in Chicago and was known as a great running-back for Brown University in 1915 and 1916. As a freshman he started on the Brown squad that played in the first Rose Bowl game, becoming the first African American to play in the Rose Bowl. In 1916,

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John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin has been widely recognized for his civic service and contributions to many causes, including disadvantaged youth, and assisting underprivileged children. He was named R.I. “Big Brother of the Year” in 1982 and a recipient of the R.I. March of Dimes Award. A prominent businessman, he retired from McLaughlin & Moran, the highly successful

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Frank William Keaney

Frank Keaney, legendary coach at the University of Rhode Island, shocked the basketball world with a revolutionary, run-and-gun “firehouse” style of play. His “fast break” plays transformed basketball like the forward pass changed football. Most teams wilted in the face of the Rhode Island break. Unaccustomed to constant pressure and unable to stand the pace,

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Walter Stone

The late Walter Stone was superintendent of Rhode Island State Police. Serving as Chief in Providence, he was one of two men to serve as head of Rhode Island’s two largest police forces. He also played football for the Providence Steamrollers, and was a boxer on the police team.

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William F. F. Farley

William F. Farley, of Pawtucket, now of Chicago, is businessman who was was chairman and CEO of Fruit of the Loom the highly successful international manufacturer and distributor of basic family apparel for fifteen years (1985-1999). Farley acquired Fruit of the Loom in 1986. Under Farley’s leadership, sales exceeded $2 billion. He has received the

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Joseph E. Buonanno Sr.

Joseph E. Buonanno, Sr., 1910-1991, was a great Brown quarterback in the 1930’s. He became Trustee Emeritus of his University, and Founder of Metro Dyestuff Company. He was also Chairman of the First Bank and Trust Company.

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Louis A. Cimini

Louis A. Cimini, a former resident of North Providence, legendary La Salle Academy coach and teacher, he also served as a football and baseball official as well as the Director of Recreation for North Providence. Cimini was an outstanding athlete in his own right and was inducted into six Halls of Fame and received a

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Joseph P. McGee

Joseph P. McGee was a three-sport star at Providence College. He instituted basketball at the school, serving as first captain and coach. He also became Varsity Football Coach of the Friars, and a member of the Providence College Hall of Fame. In addition, He was President and General Manager of the Providence Steamroller Football Club.

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Pasquale “Pat”/”Doc” J. Abbruzzi

Pat Abruzzi is considered one of the best athletes to come out of Rhode Island. Born in Warren on August 29, 1932, Pat was raised in Warren and attended local schools. He played football for Warren High School and was named All Class C football running back in 1948 and 1949. During his senior year

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Frank Maznicki

Frank Maznicki, 1920-2013, was a former all-sports star at Westerly High School who gained football fame with the Boston College Eagles and the Chicago Bears. He became highly successful as a high school football and baseball coach.

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Michael A. “Mike” Tranghese

Michael A. Tranghese is a former collegiate golfer, sports information director and, most notably, the long-term commissioner of one of the most successful college athletic conferences of all-time. Mr. Tranghese was born on February 2, 1944 in Springfield, Massachusetts to Michael and Josephine (nee DiSantis). He attended Cathedral High School in Springfield and upon graduation

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Dr. William T. Osmanski

Dr. William (Bill) Osmanski began his great football career at Central High School in Providence, Rhode Island. He was born in Providence on December 29, 1915. He earned All-State honors twice and led his team to the Class A state championship in 1934. He picked up the nickname “Bullet Bill” during high school. Osmanski was

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Bernard Thomas “Slick” Pina

Bernard Thomas “Slick” Pina, 1930-2013, was the oldest and most accomplished of three brothers from South Providence who dominated the local sports scene in the 1950s. Slick’s brother Tommy followed him as a two-time all-state halfback at LaSalle Academy. Joe, who did not attend high school or college, compiled a remarkable record as an amateur

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William Gilbane

The Gilbane family, like the Banigans and the Hanleys, were driven from Ireland to America by the potato blight that caused Ireland’s “Great Famine.” William Gilbane, who was born in 1842, arrived in America from County Leitrim with his parents, Thomas and Bridget (O’Brien) Gilbane, in 1845, settling originally at Lime Rock in the Blackstone

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John P. Cronin

John P. Cronin served as Director of Recreation for the City of Providence for many years. He also made major contributions to many other Rhode Island youth programs, serving as a baseball, football, and hockey coach at La Salle Academy for 45 years.

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