Taylorville High School SPORTS HALL OF FAME

P O R T R A I T


BOB LANZOTTI


Bob Lanzotti graduated from Taylorville High School in 1955 and was a three year letter winner on the Tornadoes’ football team.  A starting guard for two years, and a natural leader both on and off the field,  Lanzotti was selected team captain during the Tornadoes 6 – 2 – 1  season in 1954.  While offensive linemen rarely get the notice that running backs receive, it was commonly known to Taylorville fans, that you could always tell which player Lanzotti was, just look for the dirtiest jersey on the field,that would be him.

Lanzotti also participated in basketball and track while at THS and was president of the T-Club (the athletic letterman’s club) his senior year.


As a result of his stellar performance his senior year, Lanzotti was a special mention all –state guard.  Following graduation, he received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Illinois, where he was a member of coach Ray Eliot’s Fighting Illini Football Team from 1955 to 1960.


Following graduation from the U of I, , Lanzotti was commissioned into the United States Army as a second lieutenant and served two tours in Viet Nam as an Airborne Ranger and helicopter pilot. During his two tours in Viet Nam he flew more than 1000 hours of combat helicopter time and was awarded two  Distinguished Flying Crosses, four bronze Stars and 24 air medals. He retired as a lieutenant colonel after 25 years of service and began a career as a grade school teacher in Atlanta, Georgia where he still lives today.  He is also the author of a collection of short stories about his service in Viet Nam, titled “Flying Through the Years”.