2002 ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
Raymond M. Looney was a three-time letterwinner in both baseball and football for the Colonials between 1954 and '57. After one season of freshman football (and basketball) in '54, the Glassport, Pa., native played baseball as a freshman, winning All-Southern Conference honors as a first baseman. As a sophomore (in '55-56), he lettered in both football and baseball and, once again, earned All-SC accolades in baseball. In football, the 6-foot, 185-pounder played quarterback and alternated with another GW Athletic Hall of Famer, Bob Sturm.
Looney's junior year was most special for him. In football, Looney guided GW to a 13-0 victory over favored Texas Western (now Texas-El Paso) in the Sun Bowl on Jan. 1, 1957. It was the Colonials' only football bowl appearance and capped the winningest grid season in school history (8-1-1). The talented southpaw signalcaller led GW in total offense yardage (518) and he was voted the team's MVP by his teammates. The memorable football season was followed by another outstanding baseball season in '57. Coached by Bill Reinhart, the Colonials won the Southern Conference title and earned a spot in the NCAA Regional Tournament at Gastonia, N.C. For a third time, the first sacker was named to the All-Southern Conference squad.
As a senior, Looney quarterbacked the '57 Colonials for the first four games until a dislocated shoulder in the Air Force game forced him to miss the rest of the season. Then in December, 1957, he signed a pro baseball contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, foregoing his senior season of baseball. Back then, eight years before the establishment of the Major League Baseball free agent draft, his signing bonus of $30,000 was the largest bonus ever given to a GW athlete in any pro sport.
After five pro baseball seasons, including two at the Triple A level (Vancouver of the PCL and Atlanta of the International League), Looney retired as a player and began a lengthy and satisfying career in law enforcement and security. He spent 22 years as a FBI special agent and later working in private sector security in Connecticut before retiring. He and his wife, Janice, live in Fort Myers, Fla., and have three sons, Scott, Brian and Craig.
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