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
    • 3 Things About Gameday - Ole Miss vs. Alabama

      Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 22-28)

      Monday, September 29, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 22-28, 2014Football- No. 10 Ole Miss used a dominant defensive effort to put away Memphis 24-3 on Saturday, setting up one of the biggest games in recent history this coming Saturday against the Alabama... read more

    • PHOTOS: Week-Long Timeline of Powder Blues

      Monday, September 29, 2014 - Football

      1. Tuesday 9/23 at 4PM @CoachHughFreeze reveals the helmets to the @olemissfb team at team meeting. pic.twitter.com/8jpVCvny4p— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) September 29, 2014 2. Wed 9/24 at 4PM @OleMissFB practice hidden indoors so that team practice in helmets for safety reasons. pic.twitter.com/vA0Oo6Ps7S— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) September... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House

      Sunday, September 28, 2014 - Athletics

      It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. I'll handle the bulk of the notes this week, but we also have some insight from Austin Miller here as well. Let's... read more

    • Upset Bid Falls Short Against No. 10 A&M

      Sunday, September 28, 2014 - Soccer

      Seeking its first win over a top-10 team since 2009, Ole Miss took a 1-0 lead but fell short to No. 10 Texas A&M, 2-1, Sunday afternoon. "I'm really happy with the team's performance," head coach Matt Mott said. "I'm... read more

    • Defense Honors Mullins with Dominant Effort

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Wearing the lighter blue helmets for the first time since 1994 to honor the late Chucky Mullins, the Ole Miss defense also honored his memory with perhaps the most dominant defensive performance of the Hugh Freeze Era. "Chucky would have... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Memphis Motivational

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Memphis: Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Memphis

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 10 Ole Miss faces Memphis Saturday. Battle of the Quarterbacks Ole Miss and Memphis have both gotten steady quarterback play, as both teams rank inside the top-15 nationally in scoring offense.  Senior quarterback Bo... read more

    • Rebels Rebound with Hard-Fought Draw

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Soccer

      Playing in their fourth overtime game of the season, the Ole Miss soccer team played Arkansas to a 1-1 double-overtime draw on Thursday night.  The teams combined for 30 shots, including 13 on goal, but the game was characterized more... read more

    • 3 Things About Gameday - Ole Miss vs. Memphis

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Freeze Stresses Focus, Attention Ahead of Memphis

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' matchup with Memphis on Saturday (6:30 p.m. CT, Fox Sports Net). Freeze's time on the call begins at the 1:21:20 mark. For... read more

    • Memphis Not Fazed by Big Stage

      Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - Football

      Memphis is 2-1 heading into Saturday's matchup with wins over Austin Peay (63-0) and Middle Tennessee (36-17) and a 42-35 loss at No. 11 UCLA. The Tigers scored two early fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the Bruins at 35-35 with 13:44... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 15-21)

      Monday, September 22, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 15-21, 2014Volleyball- Ole Miss went 4-0 to capture the Rebel Classic and improve to 14-0 on the season.- Through four weeks of the season, the Rebels have equaled last year's win total (14-17).- Sophomore... read more

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

      Sunday, September 21, 2014 - Athletics

      This is the fourth installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more

    • Rebels Finish Non-Conference on High Note

      Saturday, September 20, 2014 - Volleyball

      The Ole Miss Volleyball team remained undefeated at 14-0 and matched last year's win total with a 4-0 weekend at the Rebel Classic capped by wins over Lamar (3-0) and Jackson State (3-1) Saturday. The last three sets against Jackson... read more