Joe Licata (BA ’15) made a statement by staying close to home. UB football fans know him as the guy in the helmet throwing touchdown passes. Most don’t know that this record-setting passer is just as comfortable sporting a fedora and singing along to Frank Sinatra.
Licata proudly hails from a “100-percent Italian” family, one that has a deep admiration for Ol’ Blue Eyes. Last summer, he organized a gathering at the family cottage in Crystal Beach, Ontario, to celebrate Sinatra and, simultaneously, the day a half-century earlier when his grandmother bought the place where they vacation each year. Licata posted a picture on Twitter of his parents, three sisters and him—all clad in fedoras—posing with a cardboard cutout of Frank. He included the hashtag #MyWay.
Licata graduated in May 2015 but had one year of eligibility remaining, allowing him to play this past fall. He left UB as the program’s all-time leader in career passing yards (9,485), touchdowns (76) and wins as a starter (he went 21-19). He led the Bulls to their third bowl bid in program history in 2013; they lost to San Diego State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. He threw a school-record 29 TD passes his junior year.
“When people look back, I want them to see a team that fought hard and had a lot of pride in the name on their chest, and someone who had fun out there playing for the city, his family and friends,” Licata said.