The New England Patriots announced via a press release Wednesday that former punter-quarterback Tom Yewcic passed away at age 88.
Yewcic signed with the Patriots in 1961 following a successful collegiate career at Michigan State where he played both football and baseball.
During his Michigan State tenure, Yewcic led the football program to a Rose Bowl title over UCLA in 1954 and was named the College World Series Most Outstanding player despite the baseball team not winning a championship.
Yewcic was initially drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1954 NFL Draft but opted to play baseball and signed with the Detroit Tigers.
After spending time in the minor leagues, Yewcic saw major league action for the Tigers at catcher in one game on June 27, 1957, but his baseball career was interrupted by a stint in the Army in 1955.
Yewcic later signed with the Patriots in 1961 following a half a season with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.
During his NFL career, Yewcic was mainly used as a punter but briefly became the starting quarterback after Babe Parilli suffered an injury and he led the Patriots to three straight wins in Parilli’s absence.
Yewcic punted 377 times for 14,553 yards during his career. In addition to punting and playing quarterback, he was also used as a receiver and running back.
In 77 career regular-season games, Yewcic completed 87 passes for 1,374 yards and 12 touchdowns and had 72 carries for 424 yards and four touchdowns in addition to posting seven receptions for 69 yards.
Yewcic holds the team record for the longest run by a Patriots punter in a regular season game, a 20-yard gain in 1962.
After retiring from football in 1966, Yewcic served as an assistant coach with the Patriots under Mike Holovak in 1968 and Chuck Fairbanks from 1976–1978. He also coached at Holy Cross and Rhode Island.
For his efforts over his six year Patriots career, Yewcic was named to the 1960s All-Decade Team in 2009.
Yewcic spent his later years in Arlington, Massachusetts and became a partner in a medical surgery company and was heavily involved in charity work. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jane, and is survived by their two children and three grandchildren.
Patriots 1960s All-Decade Team member Tom Yewcic passed away yesterday at age 88. RIP Tom!! pic.twitter.com/2MTO46Dzk3
— The Hall presented by Raytheon Technologies (@TheHall) October 22, 2020
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) October 22, 2020
RIP Tom Yewcic. Former Patriots QB & Punter. Longtime Arlington resident AND get this. To my knowledge the ONLY man to play professional football AND baseball at Fenway Park! How’s that nugget? https://t.co/dvigeg0EYW
— Mike Lynch (@LynchieWCVB) October 21, 2020
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Babe Parilli Chuck Fairbanks Mike Holovak Tom Yewcic