VIDEO: Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame NFL Great Ronnie Lippett Loved Making Big Play
By Charles Parker // March 16, 2017
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
RONNIE LIPPETT – 2015 PROFESSIONAL INDUCTEE
• Started 111 Regular Season Games For New England Patriots, Started In Four NFL Playoff Games
• Inducted In the Miami Hurricane Hall of Fame in 1994
BORN IN MELBOURNE
While the University of Miami in the 1980s was sometimes called “Quarterback U,” its defense was known for its speed and its intensity. And a major part of that was because of the play of Ronnie Lippett.
Lippett was born in Melbourne, played high school football in Sebring and was a three–year starter with the Hurricanes. He had 10 career interceptions, which still ranks eighth on Miami’s all-time list.
However, he really came into his own during his senior year posting 49 tackles and three interceptions.
With all of that, his college career is probably best remembered for the 66-yard interception return in 1981 that set up Miami’s winning score against cross-state rival, the University of Florida. The Canes won the game 21-20.
Lippett was inducted into the Miami Hurricane Hall of Fame in 1994.
5-feet-11-inches tall and 180 pounds in his prime – he was drafted by the New England Patriots in the eighth round of the 1983 NFL draft.
Lippett started in 111 of his 122 regular season games for the New England Patriots and started in four playoff games.
Lippett loved making the big play, a trait that extended into his professional career.
In his rookie year, he blocked an extra point attempt against the New York Jets to secure a Patriot 23-13 win.
In 1984, Lippett was a game-changer throughout the season.
He recovered a fumble that helped set up the final touchdown in a 17-16 win against the Cleveland Browns, and with 36 seconds left in a game against the Colts, Lippett intercepted a pass and returned it 13 yards to secure a Patriot win.
His two interceptions against Buffalo lead New England to a huge win over the Bills 38-10.
That was not to be his only two-interception game, nor his biggest.
In 1986, Lippett earned “AFC Defensive Player of the Week” honors after intercepting legend Dan Marino twice as the Patriots routed the Miami Dolphins 34-7.
He also intercepted Marino twice in their 27-24 loss to the Dolphins at Foxboro Stadium in 1990. Of his 24 career interceptions, seven were off of Marino.
Again in the 1986 regular season, Lippett had two interceptions in one game, but against more than one quarterback.
He intercepted Jim Kellly and Frank Reich in the Patriots 23-3 rout of the Buffalo Bills, and to round out the season, Ronnie intercepted Marc Wilson twice in the Patriots 27-20 AFC Playoff Game victory over the Los Angeles Raiders.
SUPER BOWL STARTER
Career accolades included All-AFC honors and the Patriots “Unsung Hero Award” in 1987. He also was the starting cornerback for the Patriots in Super Bowl XX against Chicago.
Lippett, now living in South Easton, MA, counsels young people and their families in the DARE program.
He is also involved in “Kids 4 Tomorrow” – a program where former pro athletes speak to school groups.
THE 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 12.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Induction, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com