Former Patriots Running Back Joe Bellino Passes Away

Robert Alvarez
March 29, 2019 at 3:30 pm ET

On Friday, the New England Patriots announced former running back Joe Bellino had passed away at the age of 81.

A Winchester, Massachusetts native, Bellino attended Winchester High School and went on to play at the United States Naval Academy as a halfback and defensive back. 

In 1960, Bellino became the Naval Academy’s first Heisman trophy winner.

After graduation, Bellino entered the NFL and AFL Draft.

In 1961, Bellino was chosen in the 17th round by the NFL’s Washington Redskins and the 19th round by the AFL’s Boston Patriots.

Bellino chose the Patriots and played three seasons for the franchise.

From 1965 to 1967, Bellino primarily returned kicks for the Patriots but tallied his only career touchdown as a receiver in 1966.

After three seasons as a Patriot, Bellino went back into the Navy and served for the next 28 years, retiring as a Captain.

In 1977, Bellino was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Bellino is one of five Heisman Trophy winners to play in New England, he joins quarterbacks John Huarte, Jim Plunkett, Doug Flutie and Vinny Testaverde.

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