Tony Lilly
No. 22     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1962-02-16) February 16, 1962 (age 58)
Place of birth: Alexandria, Virginia
Career information
College: Florida
NFL Draft: 1984 / Round: 3 / Pick: 78
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
 As player:
* Denver Broncos ( 1984 1987)
 As coach:
* Potomac Senior High School (2005–2009)
Career highlights and awards
* First-team All-SEC (1983)
Games played     58
Games started     15
Interceptions     9
Fumbles recovered     3
Stats at
Stats at

Robert Anthony Lilly (born February 16, 1962) is an American former college and professional football player who was a safety in the National Football League (NFL) for four seasons during the 1980s. Lilly played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Denver Broncos of the NFL.

Early years Edit

Lilly was born in Alexandria, Virginia in 1962.[1] When he was 9 years old he represented the Washington, D.C. area in the NFL's Punt, Pass, and Kick competition.[2] In 1979, Lilly was one of five players from Northern Virginia named to United Press International's Virginia All-State football team.[3] He attended Woodbridge High School in Woodbridge, Virginia,[4] and he was a standout player for the Woodbridge Vikings high school football team. On October 2, 2004, Woodbridge High School retired the numbers of three former football players, including Lilly's No. 18.[5][6]

College career Edit

Lilly accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Charley Pell's Florida Gators football team from 1980 to 1983.[7] He became a starter as a freshman when Tim Groves was injured late in the 1980 season, and remained a regular member of the Gators' starting lineup for his remaining three seasons.[8] As a senior in 1983, Lilly was honored as a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection and a second-team All-American.[7]

Professional career Edit

The Denver Broncos drafted Lilly in the third round (seventy-eighth pick overall) in the 1984 NFL Draft,[9] and he played for the Broncos for four seasons from 1984 to 1988.[10] Lilly started at safety for the Broncos vs. Washington in Super Bowl XXII. Lilly was badly beaten (even though he had the angle of pursuit) by RB Timmy Smith on a 58-yard TD run and was also torched by WR Ricky Sanders on 80 and 50-yard TD receptions, all during Washington's epic 35-point 2nd quarter explosion; this would be Lilly's last game played in the NFL. In his four-year NFL career, he played in fifty-eight games, started fifteen of them, and totaled nine interceptions and three fumble recoveries.[1]

Life after the NFL Edit

Lilly was a special education instructor and the head football coach at Potomac Senior High School located in Dumfries, Virginia from 2005 to 2009. In 2006, Lilly coached the Panthers to an 11–2 record in his second season and capturing the Cardinal District and Northwest Regional championships in the state of Virginia. The only two losses that season were to eventual Virginia Division 6 state champion Osbourn High School and Division 5 champion Phoebus High School.

In 2007, Lilly guided the Panthers to a perfect 10–0 regular season on the way to the Virginia Division 5 state championship game, before losing to Stone Bridge High School in the final.[11] His 2007 Potomac Panthers finished the season 13–1 overall.[11]

On May 4, 2010, Lilly was named the head football coach of C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge, Virginia, where he also serves as a television production teacher. In his first season as head coach, he directed the team to a 10-0 regular season, before losing in their first playoff game against Battlefield, the eventual Division 6 champion who they had defeated earlier in the season.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1, Players, Tony Lilly. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
  2. Michael Wilbon, "Freeman Finds a Super Job," The Washington Post, p. D8 (January 30, 1988).
  3. "Five Area Players On All Virginia Team," The Washington Post, p. F10. (December 23, 1979).
  4., Players, Tony Lilly Script error. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
  5. "Hall of Fame Effort At Woodbridge," The Washington Post, p. D8 (October 5, 2004).
  6. Preston Williams, "Cougars Face Hard Road Test," The Washington Post, p. T16 (October 7, 2004).
  7. 7.0 7.1 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide Script error, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 87, 96, 183 (2011). Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  8. Scott Carter, "Catching up with Tony Lilly, Will Muschamp's favorite Gator growing up," (January 4, 2011). Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  9. Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 1984 National Football League Draft. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
  10. National Football League, Historical Players, Tony Lilly. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Paul Tenorio, "Potomac's Season: 13 Parts Good, One Part Disappointing," The Washington Post (December 13, 2007). Retrieved June 5, 2011.

Bibliography Edit

  • Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
  • Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
  • Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
  • McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
  • Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.