The loss of former Pitt star and Super Bowl champion Tony Siragusa is being felt across the sports world Wednesday, and the Pitt family is one of the hardest hit.
Siragusa’s sudden passing Wednesday has been met by warm memories, tributes and condolences to the Siragusa family and friends, and Pitt’s past, present and future have made their voices heard.
“Tony truly was bigger than life, on and off the field,” Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said in a statement. “He played the game passionately and relentlessly. Despite not being drafted, he thrived in the NFL for 12 years. His post-football life took him so many places but he never forgot Pitt. We could always count on him to send the best recorded pep talks to our guys before our biggest games. The Goose leaves a great legacy and he will be sorely missed. Our sympathies to his family, many loved ones and former teammates.
Before he became a beloved football personality on TV with @NFLonFOX…
He played college football at Pitt, becoming a fan favorite and one of the best defensive linemen in the nation.
RIP Tony “Goose” Siragusa. pic.twitter.com/sZgVcVnEEv
— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) June 22, 2022
The Kenilworth, New Jersey native got his start with Pitt in the late 80s under Mike Gottfried and rose to serve as a key starter on the 1986 and 1987 teams. A torn ACL during camp limited Siragusa in 1988, crippling his NFL Draft status, but that didn’t stop a successful pro career.
After going undrafted in the 1990 NFL Draft, despite a comeback senior season in which he recorded 60 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, Siragusa blossomed into one of Pitt’s great success stories. Siragusa made the Indianapolis Colts in 1990 and became a full-time starter by 1992.
Siragusa played 169 games with the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens, starting 148 games, over his 12-year career. The huge 6-foot-3, 340-pound defensive tackle recorded 564 tackles (416 solo), 14 tackles for loss, 22 sacks, five forced fumbles and nine recoveries and defended 28 passes during his career.
As a starting defensive tackle on the Ravens’ 2000 defense, which is commonly regarded as one of the best in NFL history, he helped bring Super Bowl XXXV.
— John D Morgan III ™ (@JohnMorgan6__) June 22, 2022
“RIP Big Goose!” current Pitt defensive end John Morgan said on Twitter. “A true Pitt DL Legend. #H2P #2022forGoose”
After his NFL career came to an end following the 2001 NFL season, Siragusa served as a sideline reporter and analyst for Fox from 2003-15, his larger-than-life personality and bold predictions endearing fans across the country. And his impact wasn’t limited to sports as he also played Frankie Cortese on the HBO hit series The Sopranos.
The suddenness of losing teammates/friends/family is something I never have all the rights words for that express my feelings. Sincere condolences to the immediate family of Tony Siragusa and all of our #H2P brothers.
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) June 22, 2022
A Pitt man through and through, Siragusa leaves behind a legacy across the sports and entertainment world that will not soon be forgotten.
“Never one to shy away from a needle-moving quote, Siragusa once said, ‘If I wanted to learn a school song, I would’ve gone to Notre Dame or Penn State. I want to kill people on the football field. That’s why I came to Pitt,'” Pitt’s statement said.
Siragusa was 55 years old.