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Marion Rossi

Like many Akron athletes, Marion Rossi, better known as “Madeo”, planned to make a name for himself somewhere other than Akron. He had played on Garfield High’s undefeated football teams of 1945 and ’46. And, as planned, the All-City quarterback accepted a football scholarship from Bowling Green State after graduating. However, after one year he became disenchanted and was back in Akron. Shortly thereafter, Rossi was in the U.S. Army, where he served two years during the Korean War conflict. Upon Rossi’s return from the service to his country, he enrolled at The University of Akron, where he played football for 1961 SCSHOF inductee, Kenneth “Red” Cochrane, in 1953 and for Joe McMullen in 1954. As starting quarterback Rossi and his Zip teammates captured their first six games on the way to a 6-3 campaign. It was UA’s best record since the 6-3 mark posted by the 1938 grid squad. During that 1953 season in which he also served as the team’s punter and extra point kicker, “Madeo” passed for 893 yards and seven touchdowns. He also hooked up with end John Verdon on an 85 yard TD play that was instrumental in UA’s 16-15 win over Mount Union. It was an all-time record that lasted until 1974. As a result of that ’53 performance, Rossi, who passed away in 1998, was the recipient of the first Fred Sefton (a charter member of the SCSHOF and long-time UA athletic director) Award and was accorded first team All-Ohio Conference honors. In 1954, as team captain, “Madeo” passed for 836 yards and six TDs on the way to being voted UA’s Most Outstanding Back. A teacher and football coach for 41 years at Garfield and Buchtel, Rossi was honored by his alma mater when he was inducted into the UA Sports Hall of Fame class of 1986.

Inducted 2004 | Football