Joseph W. Righetti
Bethlehem-Center High School
Waynesburg College
Athlete of Distinction – Football

At Bethlehem-Center High School, Joe Righetti was named most valuable lineman in his senior year. After high school, Righetti attended Waynesburg College, where he was a four-year starter on the Yellow Jacket Football Team under coaches Mo Scarry, Carl DePasqua, and Dr. Darryl Lewis.

During his career at Waynesburg, the Jackets were 32-5-1 including an undefeated season in 1966, when they won the NAIA Championship.

Righetti received many individual honors while at Waynesburg including:

• “Best Pro Prospect” three consecutive years
• NAIA All-American
• NAIA All-District
• Pennsylvania All-State, West Penn Conference

Joe also set a record with eighteen individual tackles in a game against Muskingum College. In addition to being a football standout at Waynesburg, Righetti also participated in wrestling and track.

He place forth in the 1966 and 1967 NAIA National Wrestling Tournament and held the school record in the shot put. Joe was inducted into the Waynesburg College Sports Hall of Fame for both football and wrestling.

Selected in the sixth round of the NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns, Righetti played in the last NFL championship game before the AFL merger and in the first ever Monday Night Football game against the New York Jets in 1970. In 1972, injuries forced Joe to retire from professional football.

After his professional career, Righetti coached high school football in New Jersey for nine years and has been a teacher at Whippany Park High School for the past thirty-six years.