Fun Faculty Fact Friday: BP’s AP played in the NFL

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21 October 2006: Pitt quarterback Tyler Palko and center Joe Villani point at defenders. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights defeated the Pitt Panthers 20-10 on October 21, 2006 at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Villani, associate principal at BPHS, was not always a principal.

Before he became a principal, he was a football standout.

Mr. Villani attended Saint Anthony’s High School in South Huntington, New York.

He then continued his football career as he attended Bucknell University. He realized that Bucknell wasn’t a fit for him, so he transferred and walked on at the University of Pittsburgh.

He played three years as a Panther and loved it.

After high school, Mr. Villani went on to the NFL and played for the New York Jets.

When asked what was his favorite memory of football, he said, “The locker rooms and the bonds I shared with my teammates. I am still close with my friends from the team today.”

In fact, when he and his teammates get together after not seeing each other for some time, he said, “It’s like we haven’t missed a beat.”

When the New York Jets first called Mr. Villani about coming down for a conditioning test, he was on a date with his now wife. Later that night, they bought him a plane ticket and flew him out to give him the test.

He explained that the weather that night was “hot and muggy.” Ultimately, he passed the conditioning test and got signed to the Jets.

When asked if he would drop everything and go back to the NFL, Mr. Villani said, “I wouldn’t change my life right now for anything in the world.”

Mr. Villani’s only advice to college/professional bound athletes is to, “take in every moment with your teammates and enjoy every second of it because it goes by so fast.”

Football was one of the biggest parts of his life, but now his main priority is his wife and kids. He misses the locker room relationships and is very appreciative of how football shaped his life today.

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