Pitt Football Reunion Set

Former Panther basketball player and NFL defensive end Sam Clancy is spearheading an effort, that so far has brought the most former Pitt players to a game ever at Heinz Field. Clancy is currently the Varsity Club Cooridinator, and Athletic Gifts Officer.

A pregame dinner will be held for those former players in attendance. Also, as part of this special reunion, the players coming back will form the tunnel, as the current Pitt team takes the field.

Some of the players that are already confirmed include Tony Dorsett, Jimbo Covert, Bill Fralic, Ruben Brown, Al Romano, Randy Holloway, Jim Sweeney and former Pitt head coach John Majors.

"It was my job to get in touch with these guys, which we have over 330 guys (coming in)," Clancy said. "We had guys call in (Thursday). I talked to Ruben Brown, he'll be in. We're going to get close to 375 guys, 300 to 400 guys. There's going to be some guys who call up, last couple of days like they always do. I'm surprised we have this many, this early."

There was approximately 500 players in for the final game at Pitt Stadium in November of 1999. Though this 330 number is an impressive start, there's still some big names that Clancy would like to see back here.

"We got (Dan) Marino with a maybe, we got Tony Siragusa with a maybe," Clancy said. "We're not sure about those guys. Mark May won't be able to make it, or a guy like Hugh Green won't be able to make it. Rickey Jackson, I haven't gotten in touch with.

"We try not to miss any people. We're trying to get Coach (Mike) Ditka in. We're trying to get Marty Schottenheimer in. We're making contact with them."

Interestingly, Jim Kelly, a former Miami quarterback and fellow member of the 1983 NFL Draft class that Marino was also a part of, will be in Pittsburgh on September 23. Kelly and his wife Jill will be signing their book, Without a Word at 7 pm at the Joseph-Beth Booksellers, in the South Side Works. It's unknown if Kelly will be in attendance at the game.

"Marino, I made contact with Marino, and he was a maybe," Clancy said. "At first he was coming in, but then the schedule kind of changed. I got Jimbo Covert working on that, and Emil Boures. If anybody can get (Marino) back, those two guys can get him back."

Clancy says the fast, and surging response is a credit to the direction he feels the program is heading under Dave Wannstedt. In his current capacity with the Varsity Letter Club, he has noticed an increase in interest from former players, as far as getting reconnected with the program.

"I think you have to tip your hat off to Coach Wannstedt and his program, for guys wanting to come back, first," Clancy said. "Dave invites all alumni back. He invites them back to practice and see what our athletes are doing today. He invites them to get them to come back and get involved with Pitt. We think the program is heading in the right direction. Guys just want to come back and see a team like Miami on the schedule, a team that has great talent, just like we do. It reminds you of Pitt back in the 70s, in the 80s and in the 90s when they had those great battles."

Clancy also said the oldest known alum, so far, that will be coming back is Louis Cecconi (1947-49). Cecconi was a nine-time letterman at Pitt; four letters in football, four in basketball, and one in baseball.

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