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Harry Ulinski, 83, Redskins center in '50s

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Joe Holley
Washington Post / April 26, 2008

WASHINGTON - Harry Ulinski, 83, a Washington Redskins center in the early 1950s and a member of the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame, died April 20 of sepsis at Baptist Hospital East in St. Matthews, Ky.

Mr. Ulinski, the Redskins' No. 4 draft choice in 1950, was a tall, rangy lineman who played six seasons in Washington and was a Pro Bowl selection in 1954.

"He was a good man, a good football player, a good person," said Joe Tereshinski, who played against him in college and with him in Washington.

Mr. Ulinski served in the Army Air Force during World War II, then signed with the University of Kentucky to play for Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.

As a freshman he shared quarterbacking duties with future Hall of Famer George Blanda, but was switched to center and linebacker as a sophomore.

When Mr. Ulinski got married after his junior year, Bryant yanked his scholarship, and Ulinski considered transferring to Eastern Kentucky University to play basketball.

But Bryant, with a number of other older World War II veterans on the team, soon rescinded the marriage rule, and Mr. Ulinski stayed with football.

As team co-captain during his senior year, he helped lead the Wildcats to the 1950 Orange Bowl, a game Kentucky lost to the University of Santa Clara, 21-13. In the summer of 1950, he played for the College All-Stars against the Philadelphia Eagles, defending champions of the National Football League. The collegians upset the Eagles, 17-7, before more than 88,000 fans at Chicago's Soldier Field.

"He enjoyed playing for the Redskins," his son, Chris Ulinski, recalled in an interview this week. "He'd tell people it was easier than playing for Bear Bryant. He'd say, 'You don't know what it was like playing for the Bear.' "

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