Athletics Mourns Loss of Bill Iannicelli ‘48

Athletics Mourns Loss of Bill Iannicelli ‘48

LANCASTER, Pa. – Bill Iannicelli ’48 passed away on Tuesday at Willow Valley Retirement Community in Lancaster, Pa. after a valiant battle with cancer. He was 87. 

Iannicelli, known as Coach I, was an outstanding track & field athlete and a charter member of the F&M Athletic Hall of Fame in 1969.  He was an All-American in the javelin and qualified for the 1948 Olympic Trials, nearly missing an Olympic qualifying distance. 

“Coach I is a legend at Franklin & Marshall as an alumnus, a teacher, a veteran and a coach,” said Director of Athletics, Patricia S.W. Epps. “He will be missed.”

In 1955, he became the head varsity track coach. In 1968 after 19 years as assistant football coach, he became the men’s head cross country coach. In his 21 years as head cross country coach, he compiled a 217-54 record, two Middle Atlantic Conference titles and five All-American athletes. In his 35 years as head track coach, his record was 271-94, with three Middle Atlantic Conference titles, five All-American athletes and a streak of 88 consecutive dual meet victories. Bill retired from F&M in 1989 as an associate professor and as its longest serving athletic coach.

Coach I never stopped participating in the sport he loved and in 2010, at the age of 86, won gold medals in the javelin, triple jump, high jump, shot put, hammer throw and discus at the Pennsylvania State Senior Games. 

A viewing will be held at Sacred Heart Church, 558 West Walnut Street, Lancaster, PA at 10am on Saturday December 3, 2011 followed by a funeral Mass at 11am. Burial will immediately follow the Mass at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Bausman, Pa. Relatives and friends are then invited to attend a memorial service at 2pm at the Johnson Auditorium at Willow Valley Manor North, 600 Willow Valley Square, Lancaster, PA.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to support the Bill Iannicelli Award Fund at Franklin & Marshall College. Checks should be made payable to Franklin & Marshall College (attention: Gift Accounting Dept.) and sent to Franklin & Marshall College, P.O. Box 3003, Lancaster, PA 17604. All monetary gifts in memory of Bill will be used to specifically honor outstanding track & field athletes at F&M through the Bill Iannicelli Fund.

His full obituary can be viewed here: