Playing a critical role in helping the 1950 football team achieve the only unbeaten season in Lehighs history, Bill Ciaravino was an up-front leader on that historic unit, which finished its season 9-0.
He wasnt the biggest guy, said legendary Lehigh coach (and fellow Hall of Famer) Bill Leckonby, but he was outstanding on the field. As the defensive captain, he called the plays for our defense, and since we went undefeated, I think he deserves some of the credit for that.
Ciaravino starred at linebacker on the defensive side and also at guard on offense, as this was in the days of unlimited substitution. Ciaravino had one of his best games of his career versus Rutgers on the way to the unblemished campaign. In that game with Rutgers, Ciaravino made a touchdown saving tackle on fourth down, and later recovered a fumble, both in the fourth quarter to preserve the game and the season. Later in the season, Ciaravino scooped up a fumble and raced 35-yards for a touchdown as Lehigh walloped previously unbeaten Carnegie Tech 66-0. For his efforts in the 1950 season, Ciaravino was named a News Service First Team All-American.
Bill was one of the best kids we had in the program, on and off the field. I dont think we had anyone better, said Leckonby.
Ciaravino served two years in the Army medical corps and left as a captain and returned to St. Vincents Hospital in New York City where he had been before the Army, for a residency in obstrics.
Ciaravino earned his bachelors degree in biology from Lehigh and later went on to earn a masters at the Columbia School of Medicine. Ciaravino then went on to establish his own physician practice in Brooklyn before moving to Huntington, New York.
Ciaravino retired in 1993 and currently lives in Huntington with his wife Helen. The Ciaravinos have two children: Helene and Maureen.