Hank LauricellaFootball Player, 1946-51
Holy Cross High School/University of Tennessee
A star football player at Holy Cross and at the University of Tennessee, Lauricella (born Oct. 9, 1930, in Harahan, La.; died March 22, 2014) finished second in the 1951 Heisman Trophy voting.
Prior to Lauricella’s senior season at Holy Cross in 1947, head coach Lou Brownson re-tooled the Tigers’ offense to a single-wing to insure the ball would be in the hands of his 170-pound senior on every play. Lauricella was also given the responsibility to call the plays in the huddle.
After Brownson’s departure, new head coach L.G. Friedrich’s, who had been an assistant, continued with the new game plan and was rewarded with a city championship. Amazingly, Holy Cross won six games by the margin of Lauricella’s touchdown runs, including a 14-0 win over St. Aloysius’ “floating defense” when the dynamic back gained 115 yards on 15 carries and figured into every point.
At Tennessee, Lauricella ran for 13 touchdowns and passed for 16 in a three-year career as a single-wing tailback.
In 1949, he threw three touchdown passes against Mississippi. The next season he made a 75-yard run against Texas and an 81-yard run against Tennessee Tech. His longest punts were 75 yards against Duke in 1950, 76 against Alabama in 1951. In 1951, he averaged 7.9 yards on every rushing play, was unanimous All-America, and finished second in voting for the Heisman Trophy as Tennessee won the national championship.
He made a return to New Orleans for the 1951 Sugar Bowl, but the Volunteers lost to Maryland.
Lauricella, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981, served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1964-1972 and the State Senate from 1972-1996.