FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots are deeply saddened to learn of former Patriots running back and 1960 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Bellino’s passing on Thursday, March 28.
Bellino was born March 13, 1938, in Winchester, Mass. He was a standout three-sport athlete at Winchester High School and went on to play college football at the United States Naval Academy, where he played halfback and defensive back. Additionally, he was a three-year letter winner on Navy’s baseball team. Bellino won the 1960 Heisman Trophy at Navy before serving his four years of active service.
Bellino was selected in the 17th round of the 1961 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins and the 19th round of the 1961 AFL Draft by the Boston Patriots. He chose to join his hometown team and played three seasons for the Patriots from 1965 through 1967 and was used primarily as a kickoff returner. Following his playing career, he returned to the Navy where he served 28 years and retired as a Captain.
Upon his retirement from the Navy, Bellino returned to Massachusetts and became a businessman and was actively involved in the community. In 1977, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. In 1991, he became the first inductee into the Winchester Sports Foundation Hall of Fame.
Bellino is one of five Heisman Trophy winners to play for the Patriots, joining QB John Huarte, QB Jim Plunkett, QB Doug Flutie and QB Vinny Testaverde.