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Joe Bellino, 81, Heisman Trophy Winner

Joe Bellino, 81, Heisman Trophy Winner

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March 30, 2019

Joe Bellino, 81

1938 - 2019

Joe Bellino, the Navy’s first Heisman trophy winner, passed away Friday at the age of 81 in his home in Massachusetts after being in failing health for some time.

In the fall of 1957, Bellino entered the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland along with his former high-school teammate, Frank Dattilo. During his freshman year, the Plebes matched up against the Penn State freshmen. Penn State won the game 23–13, but Bellino took a lateral from his Columbian teammate Harry Dietz and scored on an 85-yard kickoff return.

He was an outstanding baseball player at Navy, but his legendary exploits occurred on the football field. In his senior year, he rushed for 834 yards, caught 15 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns, threw two touchdown passes, averaged 47.1 yards as a punter, and returned kicks and punts. He won the 1960 Heisman Trophy by a wide margin, garnering the most votes in each of the five national voting regions. In Bellino's final college football game, Navy's loss to the University of Missouri in the 1961 Orange Bowl, he scored his team's final touchdown with a spectacular diving catch in the end zone.


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