Joe Valerio, C’91, played his way into Penn football history during his four years as an offensive tackle for the Quakers.  A three-year letterwinner, he continued to leave his mark after hanging up his Red and Blue jersey by donning an NFL uniform.   


Valerio’s accolades began to accumulate his freshman year, when he was named Offensive MVP of the freshman team. In 1988, he was the only sophomore to letter on offense for a Quaker team that went 9-1 and won the Ivy League championship. By junior year, people were watching hi—at the end of the season, Valerio received first-team All-Ivy League accolades and received Penn’s Bagnell Award, given to the most improved player. When he arrived at Franklin Field as a senior in the fall of 1990, Valerio was bearing captain and pre-season All-America titles. At season’s end, he added Penn’s Bednarik (top lineman) and Munger (MVP) Awards, another first-team All-Ivy League nod, an Ivy League Player of the Year candidacy, first-team All-ECAC honors, and first-team All-America accolades from several organizations (including Associated Press, Kodak and Walter Camp, to name a few) to his list of achievements.


Following the 1990 season Valerio was selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game, and in the spring of 1991 he was nabbed by the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round of the NFL draft.


Valerio played for the Chiefs for five seasons, where he won the hearts of Kansas City fans and earned a nomination for NFL Man of the Year; he then headed to St. Louis to play out his last pro season as a Ram. In short, Joe Valerio left a standard Penn lineman dream to achieve.


Valerio and his wife, Jennifer, have eight-year-old triplets: Taylor, Madison and Hailey. They currently reside in Glen Mills, Pa.