The late Joe Urich was a two-year, two-position, first-team all-conference performer for the Bluffton football team in the late 1950s.
Perhaps the best indication of just how good an athlete Urich was for Bluffton is to look at the positions he played: quarterback and middle linebacker. He started at both positions in 1958 and ‘59 and was named first-team Mid-Ohio Conference at each one both years while helping Coach Ken Mast’s teams capture two MOC titles.
In an era when the passing game was rarely used and with Hall of Famer Elbert Dubenion ’59 in the backfield, Urich wasn’t called on to throw the football very often. When he did, however, the results usually brought the fans at Harmon Field to their feet. His career pass efficiency rating of 162.74 still stands as the highest in school history, although he didn’t have enough attempts to rank him in the official Bluffton record book. His play at middle linebacker was equally impressive, as his ability to track down opposing ball carriers was second to none.
At the time of his Hall of Fame induction in 1999, Urich was the only Bluffton quarterback to have averaged more than 10 yards per attempt (10.8). He remains one of a handful to throw more touchdown passes (11) than interceptions (eight) in his Bluffton career.
Urich was an insurance agent for more than 20 years and also coached football at Bluffton in 1985 and earlier, in 1970, at Bluffton High School.