A very quiet and introverted player that led by example not speech, Jack Rizzo was an intense and passionate fullback that had all the necessary weapons to drive a defensive coordinator crazy. He is the 22nd member of the football fraternity to be inducted into the Lehigh athletics Hall of Fame.
"1 can't say enough about Jack Rizzo," said former team-mate and current Lehigh Hall of Famer Kim McQuilken '74. "Jack may be the fastest fullback Lehigh has ever had. He was intense, committed, and tough. I've never seen a fullback that had more weapons than Jack possessed. He was a vicious blocker and a tough inside runner with breakaway speed. Additionally he had a great ability to come out of the backficld and catch the football. He was a real game breaker. I remember one screen pass that I threw him that he took 90 yards for a touchdown. I'm disappointed I only had one year to play with Jack. I would have loved to have had him in the backfield for two more years."
Rizzo set several single season and career marks on the football field during his four years at Lehigh. He currently holds the record for career rushing yards in a single game with 313 yards against archrival Lafayette. He broke the single season rushing mark with 1,143 in 1971 and is currently third behind Rabih Abdullah and Ronald Jean. He ranks second in single season touchdowns with 19 behind Jean who scored 23. Rizzo is seventh All-time in career rushing yards with 2,216 yards.
Upon graduation, Rizzo began his professional career with the Ottawa Roughriders. He played for the New York Giants in 1973 and 1974 and finished his professional career with the Houston Texans in 1975.
In addition to being a star football player Rizzo was also a track and field star. He was the top sprinter for the Brown and White and held school records in the 60 yard and 100 yard dashes. He was a member of the 100, 220, and 440 relay teams and was on the mile relay team.
"I am honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame," said Rizzo. "I'm very pleased to be added to a list of great athletes that have already been inducted. I'm excited to join two of my very close teammates John Hill '72 and Kim McQuilken in the hall. I am proud to be a part of the strong tradition of Lehigh football. I truly believe that the teams of the early and late 1970s really laid the ground work for the successful program that Lehigh football is today."
Currently the managing director of ProLogis Trust, Rizzo has been very involved in the community. He is the former board of director for the YMCA in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology school of real estate and the Harvard school of design. He is the former CEO and Senior Vice President of Perini Management Services in Framingham, Massachusetts.
Rizzo resides in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife Priscilla and his children Lauren (24), Dana (22), and Andrea (18).