Jan. 26, 2017 Former University of Notre Dame All-America quarterback Ralph Guglielmi (pronounced goo-yell-me), a 2001 inductee into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame, died Monday in Wallace, North Carolina, due to complications from a stroke. He was 83.
Guglielmi became the seventh former Irish quarterback to earn that Hall of Fame honor–following Frank Carideo, Harry Stuhldreher, Heisman Trophy winners John Lujack, Angelo Bertelli and Paul Hornung and Bob Williams in 1988. Joe Theismann and Heisman winner John Huarte later joined that list.
The 6-0, 180-pound Guglielimi was a three-year starter for the Irish at quarterback from 1952 through ’54. He earned unanimous All-America honors as a senior in ’54 after completing 68 of 127 passes for 1,160 yards and six touchdowns–ranking fourth nationally in passing yards. He finished fourth in voting for the Heisman Trophy as a senior in ’54. In his three seasons as a starter, the Irish finished 7-2-1 in ’52 (third in final Associated Press poll), 9-0-1 in ’53 (second) and 9-1 in ’54 (fourth).
His career passing chart featured 209 completions on 436 attempts (both Notre Dame records at the time) for 3,117 yards (breaking Bertelli’s Notre Dame career mark for passing yards) and 18 TDs. He also rushed 187 times for 200 yards and 12 TDs, kicked five PATs, intercepted 10 passes returned for 98 yards and one TD (he led the team in interceptions with five each in ’53 and ’54), recovered two fumbles and returned two kickoffs for 15 yards.
The Columbus, Ohio, product (Grandview High School) set the Notre Dame record for most consecutive games completing a pass with 34, including his last four games in 1951 and all 10 each year in 1952-54. He was honored with the Walter Camp Memorial Trophy by the Washington (D.C.) Touchdown Club as the nation’s top back in 1954.
He graduated with a degree in sociology from the College of Arts and Letters.
Guglielmi earned MVP honors in the 1955 College All-Star Game and also played in the East-West Shrine Game.
He was a first-round National Football League draft pick (third pick overall) of the Washington Redskins in 1955, moved on to play with St. Louis in 1961, the New York Giants in 1962 and with the Giants and Philadelphia in 1963. He played in 66 games as a professional, throwing for 4,119 yards and 24 TDs.
Born June 26, 1933, in Columbus, he had been living in Wallace, North Carolina, since 2003 after retiring from his position as owner of auto dealerships and restaurants in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area. He also was an insurance agent and developed a computer forms company.
Guglielmi is survived by his wife of 42 years, Linda Doeringer Guglielmi, his son Ralph David Guglielmi and wife Laurie Maves, his daughter Lisa Marie Hofmann and husband Mark Hofmann, five grandchildren–Ralph Vincent Guglielmi II, Michael Anthony Guglielmi, Isabella Marie Hofmann, Livianna Noelle Hofmann and Elena Claire Hofmann–brother-in-law Jeffrey W. Doeringer and mother-in-law Betty Z. Doeringer.
A memorial service will be held at a later date in Wallace, North Carolina. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Rocky Mountain Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Chapter in his son’s name, Ralph David Guglielmi, a two-time cancer survivor. The address is PO Box 4072 Pittsfield, MA 01202.