Pat Cannamela was born April 27, 1929 in New London, Conn. After a stellar high school football career, he traveled west with a group of friends and enrolled in Ventura College in 1948. During his two years at VC, Pat distinguished himself as a tackle and linebacker. He garnered a number of athletic awards, culminating with his election as a Little All-American Honorable Mention, All-Western State Conference, All-Southern California Junior College, and the Most Valuable Player of the VC football team.
In 1950, Pat earned an athletic scholarship to the University of Southern California (USC). During his first year as a Trojan, Pat earned Second Team All-American honors. In 1951 Trojan preseason press release read, "They don't come any better than the Trojan's No. 1 linebacker, Pat Cannamela."
At 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds, the 24-year old Cannamela played offensive guard and linebacker for the Trojans. In his second year at USC, guided by fabled coach Jess Hill, Pat was a first team Look All-American and was selected as a Trojan co-captain. He was described as a "Pocket Battleship" in recognition of his size and toughness as a tackler and linebacker. Pat played in the East-West Shrine Game and the Hula Bowl that year. One of Pat's teammates at USC was Frank Gifford, of the NFL's New York Giants and Monday Night Football fame.
After college, Pat was selected in the 11th round of the 1952 draft by the Dallas Texans and played only one year. He later joined the Army.
Pat Cannamela's life ended tragically. In the early morning hours on January 28, 1973, the 43 year old husband and father arrived at Zody's Discount Store on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles. A resident of Torrance, Pat was an appliance salesman. Unbeknownst to him, there was a robbery in progress; Pat walked in, only to be shot and killed by the hooded robbers.
Pat played high school football at Chapman Technical High School in New London, Connecticut. The football field where he first made a name for himself will now forever have his name several years ago the filed was renamed "Pat Cannamela" field.