Former Pitt star and College Football Hall of Fame OL Bill Fralic dies at 56

Pitt Athletics

Former Pitt offensive lineman Bill Fralic has died at age 56 after a battle with cancer. Fralic starred at Pitt from 1981-84, was a three-time first-team All-American, and a unanimous All-American as a junior and senior. 

"Bill Fralic was not only an all-time player at the University of Pittsburgh, but also an all-time human being," Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said in a statement. "His generosity, support and concern for others was unmatched. For as hulking a figure as he was, Billy was even larger in his kindness and passion for others. He leaves a wonderful legacy that goes well beyond football at Pitt, Penn Hills and all of Western Pennsylvania. Our hearts and prayers are with his wife, Susan, and all of his loved ones."  

Fralic finished sixth in Heisman Trophy voting in 1984 and eighth in 1983, becoming the first offensive lineman to finish in the top 10 in voting twice. His No. 79 jersey was retired by Pitt in his final home game as a Panther in 1984.

"Bill Fralic is the best," said Joe Moore, Fralic's offensive line coach with the Panthers. "If you can find somebody better, bring him to me. I've been privileged to coach some good ones here, but none better than Bill Fralic. Those kind only pass through once."

Fralic was drafted No. 2 overall in the 1985 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons, and spent nine seasons with the franchise. He made four straight NFL Pro Bowls from 1986-89 and made the NFL's All-Decade team for the 1980s. He played his final season in the NFL in 1993. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories