Gino Torreta Wins Heisman Trophy
A 6-foot 3-inch, 205-pound senior, Torretta was the key man in the extraordinary success of his team.
The one attribute shared by all great quarterbacks is the ability to lead their team to victory week after week. It is extremely difficult to go undefeated for one season, but it is a truly amazing accomplishment to do it twice in succession. Against archrival Florida State, one of the strongest teams in the nation, it all came down to the fourth quarter. On the crucial third down and long yardage play, that meant the difference between victory and defeat, it was Torretta once again coming through with a thrilling 14-yard run that left the Florida State defense awestruck. Torretta, as clever a quarterback as college football has seen in years, quickly exploited his advantage and threw the touchdown pass that won the game. "Gino showed everybody he is the best quarterback in college football," said his delighted coach Dennis Erickson. Florida State's coach Bobby Bowden captured the essence of the day when he noted: "I can sum this game up in one word-Torretta was great." Torretta is the latest in a long line of standout Miami quarterbacks and has eclipsed all other Hurricane quarterbacks when it comes to the record book with his 7,000 aerial yards. Gino and his wife Bernadette reside in Miami, Florida. Gino works for Prudential Services in Miami and covers college football for ESPN.
Gino Torretta became the second Miami player to win the Heisman and the first senior in five years. Torretta won four of the six sections
Gino Louis Torretta (born August 10, 1970 in Pinole, California) is a former Heisman Trophy winning football quarterback for several teams in the National Football League from 1993 to 1997.
Torretta is best known for winning the Heisman Trophy in 1992 as the quarterback of the University of Miami and playing on the University of Miami's National Championship teams of 1989 and 1991. He also won the 1992 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award after his outstanding season.
Torretta was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009 and will be formally inducted in 2010.
1989 and 1990 seasons
See also: 1989 Miami Hurricanes football team and 1990 Miami Hurricanes football team
As quarterback at the University of Miami, Torretta spent his first two seasons mostly on the bench behind then starting quarterback Craig Erickson, with his only significant playing time coming with three starts in 1989 after Erickson injured his throwing hand. During that span, however, the then-unknown Torretta lit up San Diego State for 485 yards, setting a school record for most passing yards in a game that has not since been broken.
See also: 1991 NCAA Division I-A football season and 1991 Miami Hurricanes football team
In his first year as a starter, Torretta garnered further attention by stealing the show in a nationally-televised 1991 game versus the Houston Cougars and their Heisman-frontrunning quarterback, David Klingler. As Miami's defense cut down Houston's run-and-shoot offense, Torretta was putting on the performance that many expected out of Klingler en route to a not-even-that-close 40–10 victory (Klingler's lone touchdown pass in the game would come with :03 left in the 4th quarter, against Miami's 3rd string Defense and the game long since decided). Torretta would go on that season to lead Miami to a 4th quarter comeback on the road versus #1 Florida State and ultimately to an undefeated season and a co-national championship.
See also: 1992 NCAA Division I-A football season and 1992 Miami Hurricanes football team
Torretta passed for more than 3,000 yards his senior year in 1992 on his way to winning the Heisman and the Davey O'Brien Award that season. He also won the Walter Camp Award, the Maxwell Award, the Johnny Unitas Trophy and the Chic Harley Award. One of the key games of the season came against West Virginia when he threw for 363 yards and two touchdowns in the 35-23 victory. His career as quarterback at the University of Miami was hugely successful, with Torretta leading the team to 26 wins and only one loss.
In the 1992 National Championship game, Torretta's Hurricanes were dominated by the University of Alabama Crimson Tide's defense and Alabama won the game 34-13 and the National Championship.
Gino Torretta was the most celebrated football player in the University of Miami and NCAA history. A 1991 graduate with a degree in Business Management, Torretta won both athletic and academic awards during his prolific career as a Hurricane.
He became only the second player in Hurricane history to win the coveted Heisman Trophy Award as the nation’s top collegiate football player. He was also honored as the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s Player of the Year.
The Associated Press, Kodak, Walter Camp and The Football News named Torretta first-team All-American. He also won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, The Maxwell Trophy and the Davey O’Brien national quarterback awards.
Torretta was a unanimous selection as BIG EAST Offensive Player of the year for two consecutive seasons, the NCAA Today’s Top Six Award winner, Toyota Leadership Award winner and Chevrolet Offensive Player of the Year.
Torretta finished his Miami career with eleven school passing records, including career attempts (991), completions (555), yards (7,690), total offense (7,772), longest pass (99 yards to Horace Copeland vs. Arkansas, an NCAA record) and most passing yards in a game (485 vs. San Diego State).
He was tapped into Iron Arrow, as one of the University’s best ambassadors. He has also been inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Honor and the University of Miami Hall of Fame.
Originally from Pinole, California, Gino and his wife Bernadette reside in Miami. In 2006 he founded Touchdown Radio, nationally broadcasting a college football game of the week. He is also the Manager of Institutional Sales with Gabelli Asset Management.
Torretta has been a color commentator for collegiate and professional football games, and is currently a host on the South Eastern College Football Today Show on CSS. Among his charitable works, he hosts the Gino Torretta Celebrity Blue Tee Weekend benefiting The Torretta Foundation, which aims to find a cure for ALS and Myasthenia Gravis.
He is also a Past-President of the National University of Miami Alumni Association, a member of the Orange Bowl Committee, and in 2008 was inducted into the University of Miami’s Ring of Honor. It was announced on April 30, 2009, that Gino Torretta has been selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.