Inductees in Sports - Football

  1. Pasquale "Pat"/"Doc" J. Abbruzzi (1932-1998)

    Inducted in 2002

    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 he was also named All State football running back. Read more >

  2. Bernard V. Buonanno, Sr. (1909-2010)

    Inducted in 1992

    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. Read more >

  3. Joseph E. Buonanno, Sr. (1910-1991)

    Inducted in 1981

    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. Read more >

  4. Louis A. Cimini (1920-2010)

    Inducted in 2000

    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 Presidential Citation and National Recreation Award for exemplary service to youth. Read more >

  5. John P. Cronin

    Inducted in 1973

    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. Read more >

  6. Thomas E. Eccleston (1910-2001)

    Inducted in 1988

    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 also a successful coach at Providence College. Read more >
  7. Charles A. "Rip" Engle (1906-1983)

    Inducted in 1974

    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. Read more >

  8. William F. F. Farley (1942-)

    Inducted in 1998

    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. Read more >

  9. William Gilbane (1909-1996)

    Inducted in 1977

    William Gilbane, 1909-1996, was Vice-President of Gilbane Construction, one of the largest firms in the country. He was known for being the Captain of Brown University's great 1932 football team, and was named "Big Brother of the Year" in 1956. William was General Chairman of the United Fund, and active in Boy Scouts and other civic endeavors. Read more >

  10. Joseph Gomes (1910-1986)

    Inducted in 1988

    Joseph Gomes was the only Rhode Islander to play baseball in the Negro Major Baseball League, and was named an all-star in each of the seven years he played. He compiled a 362-41 pitching record, with a 1.74 earned-run-average in the Majors. He was an extraordinary athlete as a Rhode Island schoolboy all-stater in baseball, golf, and football. Read more >
  11. William T. Halloran

    Inducted in 1975

    William T. Halloran was former Assistant Postmaster of Providence Post Office, and for many years one of the nations top football officials, both in professional and collegiate circles. Read more >

  12. Pearce Johnson

    Inducted in 1984

    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 managed the famed Warren Indian Band, and later, the Providence Steamroller Football Team, where he was traveling Secretary and later sole owner. He became a sportswriter and publisher, and went on to serve Ballou, Johnson, and Nichols for thirty-seven years. Read more >

  13. Frank Maznicki (1920-2013)

    Inducted in 1979

    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. Read more >

  14. Joseph P. McGee

    Inducted in 1981

    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. Read more >

  15. Commander John A. McIntyre

    Inducted in 1991

    Commander John A. McIntyre was a former U.S. Navy flying ace in World War II and the Korean War. Read more >

  16. John McLaughlin

    Inducted in 1984

    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. Read more >

  17. De Ormand "Tuss" McLaughry (1893-1974)

    Inducted in 1971

    Tuss McLaughry, 1893-1974, was the famed coach of Brown University's "Iron Man" team of 1926. "Tuss" coached at Amherst for thirty-five years, then at Brown, and Dartmouth. He was President of the American Football Coaches Association, and the long-time Secretary of that organization. The Tuss McLaughry Award is given to a distinguished American (or Americans) for the highest distinction in service to others. Read more >

  18. John E. Moran (1913-1997)

    Inducted in 1986

    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. Read more >

  19. James W. Norman

    Inducted in 1989

    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 of Fame, and is one of his Alma-Mater's most famous ambassadors. Read more >
  20. Dr. William T. Osmanski (1915-1996)

    Inducted in 1978

    Dr. William T. Osmanski, 1915-1996, a Providence native, was a football star. A fullback, he was All-American at Holy Cross College and an All-Pro with the Chicago Bears, where he lead the National Football League in yardage in 1939. Read more >

  21. Joseph Vincent Paterno (1926-2012)

    Inducted in 1974

    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. He was named national "Coach of the Year" in 1968, and "Eastern Coach of the Year'" in 1973. Read more >

  22. Bernard Thomas

    Bernard Thomas "Slick" Pina (1930-2013)

    Inducted in 2014

    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 athlete in baseball, football, slow-pitch softball, and track, and is widely regarded as Rhode Island's fastest sprinter of all time.

    But as Diana Ross led the three Supremes, Bernie was the leader of that supreme athletic trio named the Pinas. Read more >

  23. Fredrick Douglass

    Fredrick Douglass "Fritz" Pollard (1894-1986)

    Inducted in 1967

    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, the fleet and elusive Pollard was hailed by Coach Walter Camp as "The finest back these eyes have ever seen." Several weeks later, Pollard became the first black man ever to make Walter Camp's All-American backfield. Read more >

  24. George Pulliam (1923-1956)

    Inducted in 1968

    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 the 1940 Cranston eleven that was undefeated, untied, and unscored upon, and was chosen the 1941 Journal Honor Role Boy. Read more >

  25. Walter Stone (1911-)

    Inducted in 1982

    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. Read more >



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