Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Arizona revises Art Luppino’s career rushing total

Art Luppino

Arizona’s Art Luppino led the nation in rushing in 1954 and 1955.

University of Arizona legend Art Luppino, 57 years after his final carry for the Wildcats, has gained 10 yards.

School career records, which first appeared in the 1961 football media guide, has listed Luppino’s rushing total as 3,371 yards, a likely original typo that has been perpetuated for more than four decades.

While I was researching Luppino’s records this summer for my Top 50 players in Arizona history project, I noticed the NCAA listed his career total as 3,381 — a figure that stood as a major-college record until Eugene “Mercury” Morris of West Texas A&M broke it by 7 yards in 1968.

Cobbling together information from a couple of old media guides, I believed the 3,381 total was accurate and asked Blair Willis of the athletic department’s Communication Services office if he could verify. He poured through the archives to check the game-by-game source material, also coming up with 3,381.

Here is the year-by-year rushing total for the Cactus Comet, who twice led the nation in rushing before a preseason knee injury stalled his senior season:

1956 – 327
1955 – 1,313
1954 – 1,359
1953 – 382

Having the accurate number for Luppino will be nice as Arizona junior Ka’Deem Carey chases the school’s career rushing record.

Luppino is third, trailing Trung Canidate and Ontiwaun Carter. Carey is up to seventh, needing 1,040 yards to pass Canidate.

Carey needs to average 130 rushing yards in the final eight regular-season games to claim the record this season; or he has to average 115.6 yards over the next nine games (including a bowl).

Here are Arizona’s career rushing leaders:

No. Name Yards Att Avg. Years
1 Trung Canidate 3,824 604 6.3 1996-1999
2 Ontiwaun Carter 3,501 805 4.3 1991-1994
3 Art Luppino 3,381 513 6.6 1953-1956
4 Mike Bell 3,163 678 4.7 2002-2005
5 Hubie Oliver 3,096 649 4.8 1977-1980
6 Nic Grigsby 2,957 572 5.2 2007-2010
7 Ka’Deem Carey 2,785 467 6.0 2011-


Luppino is No. 5 on our countdown of Top 50 Arizona football players

Rare game footage of Luppino at Arizona

Search site | Terms of service