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Perricone, Gaspar F., 1928-2020



  • Existence: 1928 - 2020


Gaspar Franz Perricone was born in Pueblo, Colorado, on November 30, 1928. He attended South High School in Denver, graduating in June, 1946. A dedicated athlete, Perricone became a talented wrestler and football player. The son of a Northwestern University alumnus, Perricone also enrolled at Northwestern, holding the view that the school would offer him a chance to play major conference football while receiving a quality education. He matriculated to Northwestern in the summer of 1946 and graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree in geology.

As a freshman in 1946, Perricone earned a spot as a fullback on the Northwestern football “B” team. He remained a fullback on the varsity teams of 1947, 1948, and 1949.

The 1947 Northwestern Wildcats, under Coach Bob Voigts, won three games and lost six. The team improved dramatically to a record of eight wins and two losses in the 1948 season, including the Rose Bowl game of January 1, 1949. Perricone proved crucial in the Rose Bowl, a 20-14 triumph over the University of California. He carried the ball and gained important yards and key first downs during the Wildcats’ late, game-winning drive to the end zone.

The Wildcats went 4-5 during the 1949 season, Perricone’s last with Northwestern. With teammate Don Burson, he was recognized as the team’s most valuable player. Perricone’s performance also earned him a place at the Blue-Gray Grid Classic of 1949, an honor reserved for the best collegiate football players in the nation.

While a Northwestern student, Perricone participated in Deru, an exclusive student group reserved for campus leaders. He was also a member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity.

After graduation in 1950, Perricone was drafted by two different entities: the Chicago Bears of the National Football League and the United States Army. After completing his military duty, a posting with the Army Map Service, Perricone returned to football briefly on the semi-professional level.

Perricone attended the University of Denver’s College of Law, graduating in 1956. He maintained a strong interest in football, officiating games for 28 years including 20 years as an umpire with the Big 8 Conference. Perricone left private practice as an attorney in 1979, accepting appointment to the Colorado district court bench. He retired from the district court in 1997 and later heard cases since as a senior judge. Most notably, Perricone served as a senior master at the trial relating to the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Perricone married Carol V. Coombs, also a member of the Northwestern class of 1950, on October 27, 1950. The couple had two children.

Perricone died May 21, 2020, of complications from COVID-19.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Gaspar F. Perricone (1928-2020) Scrapbook

Identifier: 31/6/116

Gaspar Perricone played a key role on Northwestern’s winning 1949 Rose Bowl-winning team. The Papers document his football career at Northwestern, with an emphasis on the 1949 Rose Bowl.

Dates: 1947 - 2006; Other: Majority of material found in 1949 - 1949; Other: Date acquired: 07/06/2012