Walter Patulski

Walter Patulski

Football

Enshrined: 1991

Born: 1950, Syracuse, NY

Gifted with size and ability, Lombardi Trophy winner Walt Patulski succeeded at every level of football he played. In high school at Christian Brothers Academy, Patulski shined at fullback and was a prep All-American. With more than 60 college scholarships to choose from, Patulski decided to play for the storied Notre Dame football program.

Patulski, a three-year starter, played defensive end for the Fighting Irish and became one of the top linemen in the country. Patulski started every game in his collegiate career, racking up 186 tackles. In 1971, the 6-foot-6, 260-pound Patulski won the UPI’s Lineman of the Year award and was the first recipient of the Lombardi Trophy, a prestigious award given to the nation’s most outstanding lineman. Patulski, a unanimous All-American, also finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

The Buffalo Bills made Patulski their f irst-round draft pick in 1972 where he had a solid career until 1975. He sat out the next season with the St. Louis Cardinals because of a knee injury. He played in 70 career games from 1972-77.

Patulski is currently working in Syracuse as the branch manager at RBC Dain Rauscher Inc., a member of the New York Stock Exchange and other major securities exchanges.

Career highlights:

1965-1968: Two-sport star at Christian Brothers Academy in football and basketball, first team All-City in both sports; All-American fullback in 1968

1971: Received All-American honors at defensive end at Notre Dame; United Press International Lineman of the Year; Won the first Lombardi Trophy award given to the nation’s outstanding lineman; Finished ninth in 1971 Heisman Trophy voting; unanimous All-American.

1972: Played in college All-Star and Hula Bowl games

1972: F irst round draft pick by Buffalo as first overall selection

1972-1975: Outstanding lineman for the Buffalo Bills

1976-1977: M ember of the St. Louis Cardinals

1980: Appointed then later elected Commissioner of Education, Syracuse School District

1990-1991: Helped start Little League Baseball in Poland

Other achievements: At Notre Dame, he was a three-year starter at left defensive end and team co-captain in 1971. He started every game in his collegiate career, racking up 186 tackles, 40 for minus 241 yards; broke up 10 passes; recovered five fumbles and returned one blocked punt 12 yards. He was named to UND’s All-Century team.

 

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