Former Boston Patriots quarterback Vito “Babe” Parilli died, according to a New England Patriots press release.
Parilli is fourth on the team passing list with 16,747 yards and fourth in TD passes with 132. He was a Super Bowl-winning signal caller as a member of the 1968 Jets, and member of the 1960s All-Decade Team.
During his career at UK, Parilli threw 50 touchdown passes and led the Wildcats to wins over Oklahoma in the 1950 Sugar Bowl and TCU in the 1951Cotton Bowl.
The Packers made Parilli the fourth overall pick of the 1952 NFL draft, but he lasted just two seasons in Green Bay before heading north and playing for the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League.
At Kentucky, Parilli was a two-time all-American quarterback under Paul “Bear” Bryant.
Parilli lettered three years at quarterback for the Wildcats and set Kentucky records for touchdowns with 50, leading United Kingdom to wins over Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl and TCU in the Cotton Bowl.
He was a consensus All-American in 1950 and 1951, and twice finished in the top-four of the Heisman Trophy voting. He was Joe Namath’s back-up when the New York Jets won the Super Bowl in 1969. Parilli completed 331 of his 592 passes for 4,351 career yards in three years as Kentucky’s quarterback while also leading the team to an SEC championship. He retired from the game of football at the age of 40.
After his playing career, Parilli in 1974 was the head coach of the New York Stars in the short-lived World Football League, and also coached the WFL’s Chicago Winds and six teams in the Arena League.