Joseph Hernandez (’65) – Football
Joe Hernandez graduated here in 1965. Joe was a three-year starter at Columbus who like many players from his day started on both sides of the ball. Joe was a receiver on offense and an end on defense.
In his junior season, Joe scored the only touchdown in a 7-0 win at Key West. And as a senior, he caught two touchdown passes in an upset win against Fort Lauderdale’s McArthur High.
After his senior season, Joe was named first-team all-catholic and All-City.
Joe received a football scholarship to the University of Tampa, where he became a 4-year starter at linebacker. Back then, Tampa was an NAIA school. but nevertheless Tampa stunned the University of Miami in 1970. The score was 31-14 and Joe – playing at the Orange Bowl in front of family and friends – intercepted a pass and was in on 18 tackles.
That 1970 Tampa team finished 10-1 and won the NAIA national championship.. How good was Joe on that team? . Well, in 1987, The University of Tampa inducted Joe into their sports hall of fame.
Joe signed with the Miami Dolphins as a free agent in 1972, but was released at the end of the training camp. You football historians might remember that 1972 was the year the Miami Dolphins went undefeated. 17-0.
Today, Joe lives in Livingston, Montana where he owns and runs a restaurant.