Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Killorin great talent on several levels

Killorin great talent on several levels
GREATEST ATHLETE NO. 39 ALL-STAR LINEMAN: WHS, SU player reached NFL, revived Red and Black
Pat Killorin, posing during his senior season with the Watertown Cyclones, was an award-winning center.

In many ways, Pat Killorin was Watertown football during the 1960s.

The son of a police sergeant, Killorin made his mark on four levels of football and was Watertown's greatest ambassador for the sport during that time. A big man with a quiet but amiable personality, Killorin played high school, college, semipro and professional football.

When he was a junior in 1960, Watertown High School went 8-0 under coach Chuck Woodell. Killorin was a two-way lineman, playing center and linebacker. He was named team captain at the start of his senior year and an All-American at the end of it.

After graduating from WHS in 1962, Killorin went on to play for Syracuse University, starting at center his junior and senior seasons. Killorin blocked in front of the standout backfield of Floyd Little and Jim Nance, and was named an All-American in 1964 and 1965. He was a two-time All-East Region first-team selection and played in the East-West Shrine Game, College All-Star Game and Hula Bowl at the close of his senior season. SU named Killorin its team MVP that year.

Syracuse was 22-9 during Killorin's stay. In a review of 100 years of SU football in 1989, Killorin was named the Orangemen's greatest center.

Both the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers and AFL's Miami Dolphins drafted Killorin in 1966. The Steelers picked the 6-foot-2, 230-pound player in the third round, and Killorin accepted the team's two-year contract. After graduating from SU, Killorin made the Steelers' team, but suffered an injury to his right knee during the first game of the season. Killorin was carried off the field after being tackled while covering a kickoff against the Giants. He underwent an operation to repair torn cartilage in December of that year.

Killorin made the team again the following season, but suffered an injury to his left knee and didn't play in a game for the Steelers after the 1966 season. The Steelers traded Killorin to the Chicago Bears in 1968, but Killorin elected not to play, eventually choosing to end his pro career.

Still, he remained solidly in the game. When approached about restarting the Watertown Red and Black, which had disbanded in 1961, he agreed to become the head coach. Killorin coached and played defensive tackle from 1969-71, and the Red and Black finished 4-3, 5-2 and 9-0, respectively. Killorin stepped down as coach after that undefeated 1971 season, but played two more years for the Red and Black.

He was elected into the Red and Black's Hall of Fame in 1995.

After his playing career, Killorin started his own business, Patco Management, Inc., a food safety consultant operation in Liverpool. Killorin worked as president and CEO for over 20 years before recently selling his business. Killorin now works as a registered food safety sanitarian and a consultant.

He lives with his wife of over 40 years, Michelin, in Baldwinsville. They have three children, Christen, Jessica and Matthew, and six grandchildren. He has worked as a girls softball coach for community teams and as a high school and college lacrosse official.

To read about previous selections to the Times' list of The North Country's Greatest 100 Athletes of All Time, log on to www.watertowndailytimes.com

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