Joe Bellino, the first Navy player to win the Heisman Trophy, died Thursday in Massachusetts, the Heisman Trophy Trust confirmed . He was 81.
A 5-9, 180-pound halfback, Bellino was dubbed the “Winchester Rifle” for his hometown of Winchester, Massachusetts, where he was a three-sport high school star good enough to be offered a contract by the MLB Pirates.
Instead, he chose the Naval Academy over offers from Notre Dame and several Big Ten schools.
In three seasons at the Naval Academy from 1958-60, he scored 31 touchdowns, rushed for 1,664 yards on 330 carries, returned 37 kicks for 833 more yards and altogether set 15 Naval Academy football records.
“The Heisman Trust joins the Bellino family in its sorrow,” Heisman Trust president William Dockery said in a statement. “He was a cherished member of our Heisman Family and will be missed.”http://player.performgroup.com/eplayer/eplayer.html#704289d423ea0c4332836fbcb9.1j4u77fpescn71hr56797t30se$location=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.sportingnews.com%252Fus%252Fncaa-football%252Fnews%252Fjoe-bellino-navys-first-heisman-winner-dies-at-81%252F1y146gvpw3qvs13vymg94s3ij4&visibility=hidden&secure=false&embedStyle=s