Carl Joseph

Student-Athlete
Inducted 2009

Carl "Sugarfoot" Joseph's story is the stuff of which legends are made. His indomitable spirit has provided inspiration and hope across the globe.

Joseph earned eight letters in three sports at Madison High School. Born without a left leg, he declined to use a prosthesis and participated in football, basketball and track & field on one leg. Joseph started at noseguard in football his sophomore year, and was named Big Bend Player of the Week for his seven solo tackles and four assists during a game. As a junior, he was named Lineman of the Week for recovering three fumbles and making four solo tackles. Also a starter his senior year, Joseph had 11 solo tackles and six assists in the season opener. His best game was his senior homecoming contest, in which he recovered a key fumble, knocked down two passes, had eight solo tackles and six assists in a shut-out victory over Taylor High School.

In basketball, Joseph averaged 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots over 20 games on the junior varsity team. He made the varsity team his senior year, averaging four points and three rebounds, and even blocking a shot into the bleachers. Joseph was a district high jump champion in track & field with a personal best of 5 feet 10 inches, and had personal bests of 40 feet in the shot put and 130 feet in the discus throw.

After high school, he was invited by Jackie Sherrill, then head football coach for the University of Pittsburgh, to become manager of the football team during the 1980-81 school year. Joseph returned to Florida and played linebacker and lineman for Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, and coached at Madison and Jefferson County Middle-Senior High School in Monticello.

His story has been featured on "That's Incredible," "The Today Show," "To Tell the Truth," on NFL halftime shows, and in Jet magazine. Joseph was honored by his hometown at "Carl Joseph Appreciation Day" in May of 1980. He was named the Most Courageous Athlete of 1981 by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association, and is the subject of a biography, "One of a Kind: The Legend of Carl Joseph."


 

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