Joe Varaitis

About This Inductee


Varaitis was a three-sport star at Swoyersville High School. He excelled in football, as he was named to all-scholastic and all-state teams in 1948-49. Swoyersville was undefeated his final two years. One game in particular highlighted Varaitis’ career. Against Plymouth in 1949, he rushed for 354 yards, including touchdown runs of 94, 65, 58 and 37 yards. His high school basketball career was nearly as successful. He led Swoyersville to the 1950 state Class A title game, where it lost to Homestead 47-42. Varaitis was also instrumental in leading Swoyersville to several baseball championships. Following high school, Varaitis went on to the University of Pennsylvannia. At Penn, he quickly became the Quakers’ workhorse, carrying the ball as much as 40 times per game. He was named honorary All-American twice. Varaitis was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but retired after one season to accept a position with Conrail.