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Lakeland College football legend Pat Curran '72 was inducted into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Hall of Fame on Sunday, Jan. 6, during a ceremony at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tenn.
Curran was one of three football players honored, and is part of a total class of 13 people inducted into the NAIA Hall this year.
Also being inducted later this year is longtime Lakeland athletic director and men's basketball coach Duane "Moose" Woltzen
Curran was inducted at a dinner that was held as part of the American Football Coaches Association National Convention.
"Lakeland College offered us a great deal of friendship and a great education," Curran said. "We found the school because of Duane "Moose" Woltzen who recruited every player who played every sport. We all played and to this day many of us are still in contact. It's a friendship that goes on and on. It's a great thing - I love Lakeland College."
Curran was one of the most successful athletes in Lakeland history. A bruising running back for the football team, he set eight school records and still holds every school scoring record.
In 1969, Curran was selected in the sixth round of the NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He played 10 seasons in the National Football League for the Los Angeles Rams and San Diego Chargers. After retiring as a player, he served as business manager for the Chargers and later as a color analyst on Chargers radio broadcasts. Today he is a successful businessman working for Snap-on tools.
Bob Loffredo '70, vice president U.S. sales for Snap-on Industrial, introduced Curran, his former teammate and longtime friend. The Hall of Fame plaque was presented by another former teammate and close friend, Jay Chrustowski '70.
A large group attended to support Curran, including his family, other Snap-On executives, former Lakeland teammates Joe Pacifico '71 and Tom Riffey '70, former defensive coordinator Gary Wynveen and his wife, Ingrid Wynveen, a former Lakeland faculty member and members of Lakeland's current football staff.
Also attending was Kellen Winslow, Lakeland's vice president for athletic and wellness and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Winslow was drafted by the San Diego Chargers and followed Curran at the tight end spot. Saturday was the first time the two had been reunited in many years.
"I expect Kellen to follow in Moose Woltzen footsteps and build a great program at Lakeland," Curran said.