Ole Miss Great Bobby Crespino Passes Away

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Bobby Crespino
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Bobby Crespino
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

July 30, 2013

OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss and the State of Mississippi lost a sports legend Monday, July 29, when Robert "Bobby" Crespino, 75, passed away at Emory University hospital in Atlanta, Ga., following a lengthy illness.

The family will receive visitors from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1 at St. Richard Catholic Church in Jackson, Miss., and from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2 at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Macon, Miss. A funeral mass will be held at Corpus Christi at 2:30 p.m. with a brief graveside service to follow. Cockrell Funeral Home of Macon is entrusted with arrangements. The online guest register may be found at www.cockrellfuneralhome.com.

Born Jan. 11, 1938 in Duncan, Miss., Crespino was preceded in death by his brother Samuel Joseph "Chris," wife Barbara and son Robert, Jr. He is survived by his mother-in-law Dotsy Hardin, his daughter Mary Lou Mitchener (Keven), his son Joe (Caroline) and five grandchildren.

Crespino earned three letters (1958-59-60) while playing on three of John Vaught's best teams at Ole Miss, compiling a 29-3-1 record, including three bowl victories and earning a share of national championships in 1959 and 1960. The 1959 team finished 10-1, allowing only 21 points all season while being named the Southeastern Conference "Team of the Decade."

His best year was in 1960 when he led the team with 30 receptions for 408 yards and four touchdowns as the Rebels finished 10-0-1, including a 14-6 win over Rice in the Sugar Bowl. Crespino had 41 career catches for 632 yards and six TDs, averaging 15.4 yards per reception.

Crespino caught eight passes for 92 yards and one TD against Tennessee in 1960 and also had six receptions vs. Mississippi State. His longest reception was a 78-yarder from Jake Gibbs against Vanderbilt in 1959 and his longest rushing play was 27 yards against Rice.

He overcame physical handicaps to become a star at Ole Miss as he suffered a knee injury during his 1958 sophomore season and a broken collar bone in spring training in 1959.

Following his career at Ole Miss, Crespino was selected to play in the Chicago All-Star Game, Senior Bowl and Coaches Association All-America Bowl. He caught nine passes for 214 yards and two TDs in the 1961 Senior Bowl and was named co-Outstanding Back for the South team, sharing the honor with Norm Sneed of Wake Forest. Crespino's Senior Bowl TDs covered 70 and 47 yards, and the 214 yards receiving established a new Senior Bowl record.

Selected in the first round of the 1961 NFL Draft (10th overall) by the Cleveland Browns and in the sixth round of the AFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders, Crespino played three seasons (1961-62-63) for the Cleveland Browns and five years (1964-65-66-67-68) with the New York Giants. He saw action in 107 NFL games, catching 58 passes for 741 yards and nine TDs, averaging 12.8 yards per reception, and served as the Giants' player representative to the NFL Players Association before retiring from pro sports following the 1968 season.

Crespino's prep football career got its start at Benoit High School in 1954. In hopes of landing a major college scholarship, he transferred to Greenville High School for his senior season in 1956, earning All-Southern honors and then playing in the 1957 Mississippi High School All-Star game.

He was inducted into the Ole Miss Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.

Crespino was a leading member of Macon's business community for 30 years and served as Alderman at Large for the city of Macon for over 20 years. He was a member of Corpus Christi Catholic Church where he helped oversee a renovation of the sanctuary and the construction of a fellowship hall.

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 28-May 4, 2015)

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history... read more

    • VIDEO: Rebel Road Trip 2015

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Rebel Road Trip 2015 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • More on Steelers' Selection of Golson

      Friday, May 1, 2015 - Football

      Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more

    • Six Rebels Among Inaugural Scott County HOF Class

      Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - Athletics

      Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more

    • Freeze, Tuohy Conclude Play at Charity Golf Tournament

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Football

      In a tie for 7th place at 7-under, @OleMissFB takes home $30,000 in charity and scholarship. #CFAPBGolf pic.twitter.com/qd0JzilyYR-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 28, 2015 The Ole Miss team of head football coach Hugh Freeze and Sean Tuohy turned in a strong... read more

    • Tennis Teams React to NCAA Tournament Selections

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Men's Tennis

      The Ole Miss men's and women's tennis team learned their postseason destinations, as the men's and women's NCAA Tournament fields were announced Tuesday. The men, ranked No. 13 in the nation, are the No. 14 overall seed and will be... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 21-27, 2015)

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 21-27, 2015Baseball - During the five-game homestand, Ole Miss went 3-2 with a midweek win over Central Arkansas as well as claiming a weekend series over Alabama.  - The Rebels recorded 68 hits throughout... read more

    • Freeze Wins Long Drive Competition

      Monday, April 27, 2015 - Football

      With a distance of 287-yards, the 2015 #CFAPBGolf Coaches Division Long Drive Champion is @CoachHughFreeze! pic.twitter.com/ProCdgbbg9-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 27, 2015 Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze took home the long drive title at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- April 26

      Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Athletics

      Hugh Freeze and Ross Bjork embarked on the Rebel Road Trip, the baseball team claimed their weekend series over Alabama that featured the largest crowd of the season and the football program's NFL presence is expected to grow with the... read more

    • Bramlett Helps Rebels Complete DH Sweep, Clinch Series

      Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Baseball

      Ole Miss swept a doubleheader Saturday, defeating Alabama 10-2 in Game One and 4-0 in Game Two. As a pitching staff, the Rebels allowed just one earned run and scattered a combined 12 hits with 17 strikeouts compared to just... read more

    • Freeze, Tuohy to Rep Ole Miss at Charity Golf Tournament

      Friday, April 24, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze will team with former All-SEC basketball player Sean Tuohy to represent the Rebels for the fourth straight year and compete for a share of the $520,000 total purse in the ninth annual Chick-fil-A... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football Season Tickets Promo

      Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - Football

      read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Baseball Stars Wars Night Intro

      Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - Baseball

      read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 14-20, 2015)

      Monday, April 20, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 14-20, 2015Men's Tennis- Ole Miss downed No. 22 Vanderbilt 4-1 to advance to the SEC Tournament semifinals for the 16th time in program history.- The Rebels rallied to take the doubles point and then got... read more

    • Rebels Continue Push to Host in NCAA's

      Thursday, April 16, 2015 - Men's Tennis

      With a split of road matches at South Carolina and No. 8 Georgia, the Ole Miss men's tennis team moved up one spot to No. 13 in the nation entering the Southeastern Conference Men's Tennis Championship this week in College... read more