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Ernie Pitts

Football ∙ Aliquippa

 

 

 

 

American football players who decide to spend their professional careers in the Canadian League rarely get much publicity and recognition back home. Ernie Pitts was an exception. He was born and raised in Aliquippa, graduating high school there in 1953. He was a star end on the Quips’ 1952 WPIAL championship team, earning All WPIAL, All State and high school All American honors. He scored 17 touchdowns on passes to break the state record at the time. Ernie was co-captain of the 1952 title team coached by Carl Aschman. Ernie went on to the University of Denver, where he earned All American honorable mention for three years and broke the school’s pass reception record. Ernie stood 6'-3" and weighed 207 pounds, which made him an ideal prospect for the pros. He was a high draft choice of the San Francisco 49ers but decided to play in the Canadian League, where he starred for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for 10 years and earned All Pro honors on offense five times. His final two years of professional ball were played with the Vancouver Lions, where he was chosen All Pro as a defensive back. Ernie died in 1970 at age 37.