New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)
Little’s number will be unveiled at Bowen Field
Hillhouse High will honor its greatest football player prior to its game on Sept. 24.
Floyd Little, the former Academics’ running back who went on to have a Hall of Fame career with Syracuse and the Denver Broncos, will have his No. 33 high school number football officially unveiled on the press box at Bowen Field prior to Hillhouse’s home game against Masuk. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.
Little died of cancer on Jan. 1. He was 78.
“He paved the way for these guys (to follow at Hillhouse) to have all the success that they had,” said Bob Rafferty, the facility manager of the Floyd Little Athletic Center, located next door to Bowen Field. Rafferty helped organize this ceremony. “It is the New Haven Athletic Department’s vision to make sure Floyd’s name, number and legacy live on at Bowen Field.”
Little’s widow, DeBorah, is expected to be at the
Sept. 24 ceremony, along with his sister Betty, who lives in Hamden and his nephew, Scott Jackson, the former Hamden mayor,
Rafferty said. Also expected to be at the ceremony is Bill Santillo, president of the New Haven Gridiron Club.
Little, who wore No. 44 at Syracuse University and with the Broncos) rushed for 6,323 yards and 43 touchdowns in nine seasons with the Broncos. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010 and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.
“Floyd Little’s name is an inspiration to up-and-coming New Haven athletes,” New Haven citywide athletic director Erik Patchkofsky said. “He represents for our current athletes what is possible if you have the ability and willingness to work as hard as he did to reach your goals.”
Wednesday will be the 10-year anniversary of the New Haven Athletic Center being renamed in Little’s honor. His Hillhouse jersey was officially retired by the school in a 2006 ceremony.
Little’s 1,990 all-purpose yards in 1965 as a junior at Syracuse remains a program record. An All-American, Little was also a classmate and fraternity brother of President Joe Biden.