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Augie Lio

Sports: Football & Boxing

Born: April 30, 1918

Died: September 3, 1989

Town: Passaic

Agostine Lio was born April 30, 1918 in East Boston, Massachusetts and moved to Passaic with his family in the early years of the Great Depression. A rock-solid six-footer with a powerful lower body, Augie was a standout lineman and kicker for Passaic High School. He and Jim Castiglia were the stars of the Indians and in 1937, both accepted scholarships to Georgetown University. Augie was a member of the Hoyas’ legendary defense that reeled off 23 wins in a row between 1938 and 1940. Al Blozis, from Jersey City, was the team's best player. Augie was an All-American as a senior in 1940.

The Detroit Lions selected Augie with the 30th pick in the 1941 NFL Draft and he excelled as a two-way lineman. He was picked to play in the Pro Bowl as a rookie and again in 1942, despite the fact the Lions were winless in 11 games. In 1943, Augie doubled as Detroit’s placekicker. He was a second-team All-Pro in each of his three seasons in the Motor City.

Augie spent two years with the Boston Yanks and a season with the Eagles, and remained one of the NFL’s top guards. In 1947, he accepted an offer to play with the Baltimore Colts of the All-America Football Conference. The Colts employed him as their placekicker and he only missed one extra point all season.

Augie spent the 1948 and 1949 seasons as a player-coach for the Paterson Panthers of the American Football League. The coach and starting quarterback in 1948 was Allie Sherman, future head coach of the Giants. The Panthers defeated the Wilmington Clippers at Hinchcliffe Stadium to win the AFL title in 1948. In 1949, Augie became head coach and led Paterson to a second-place finish. Augie booted 4 field goals and made 24 of 26 extra points.

During his time with the Panthers, Augie forged friendships with local sportswriters. In 1950, he joined the staff of the Newark Herald-News. In 1968, he became the paper’s Sports Editor and in 1979 was inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame. Augie traveled with the Giants for many years and also covered some of the era’s great prize fights, including Johansson–Paterson and Frazier–Ali. In the 1970s, he became president of the New Jersey Boxing Writers Association. and was elected to the NJ Boxing Hall of Fame in 1982. Augie passed away in Clifton at the age of 71.


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