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
    • 2014 Ole Miss Favorites

      Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - Athletics

      Favorite Plays of the Year Senquez Golson's Game-Saving Interception vs. Alabama On one of the biggest weekends in Ole Miss football history, Senquez Golson turned in one of the biggest plays in Ole Miss football history, as he picked off... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 15-21, 2014)

      Monday, December 22, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Dec. 15-21, 2014 Men's Basketball - Ole Miss overcame a 17-point deficit to knock off Coastal Carolina 71-68 Thursday night. - Senior LaDarius White scored a career-high 26 points including a career-best 6 3-pointers... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 21

      Sunday, December 21, 2014 - Athletics

      The students were off for the first week of winter break, but Observations from the Best Seat in the House presses on, as the football team moves closer to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the men's and women's basketball teams... read more

    • Wallace Looks to Make More History

      Thursday, December 18, 2014 - Football

      Senior quarterback Bo Wallace, like his head coach, stepped into a program that had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14 straight games.  Three years later, Wallace helped lead the ninth-ranked Rebels to their first nine-win regular... read more

    • Rebels Ink Nation's Top JUCO Quarterback

      Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - Football

      Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 8-14, 2014)

      Monday, December 15, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more

    • Recapping Monday's Media Opportunities

      Monday, December 15, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 14

      Sunday, December 14, 2014 - Athletics

      With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Volleyball Season Highlight

      Friday, December 12, 2014 - Volleyball

      read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football 2014 Season Highlight

      Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss Football 2014 Season Highlight from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 1-7, 2014)

      Monday, December 8, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more

    • Testing One, Two, Three

      Monday, December 8, 2014 - Academics

      While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 7

      Sunday, December 7, 2014 - Athletics

      In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 13

      Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - Men's Basketball

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 13 - MSU (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Rebels Finding a Rhythm after Trip to Florida

      Tuesday, December 2, 2014 -

      Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more