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Joe Vellano reflects on father’s Maryland Hall of Fame induction

In a Rhode Island restaurant, Joe Vellano broke the news to his father.

The family was together for the weekend in Newport. Paul Vellano thought something was wrong. Instead, Joe told him, he had been elected to the University of Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame.

After the elder Vellano was chosen as one of the eight Maryland alumni to be inducted Friday in a ceremony at Riggs Alumni Center, Joe was tasked with telling him.

“It’s just a great thing for my dad, all the guys he played with, our family as well,” said Joe Vellano, who followed in his father’s footsteps in earning all-American honors last season, something Paul did as a defensive tackle in 1973.

The ceremony will give Vellano a break from the team hotel Friday night before the Parents Weekend game on Saturday against Wake Forest. He’ll bring his suit, leave for an hour or so to see his father inducted, then return to play in front of a mass of relatives who made the trip for the Vellano Family Doubleheader.

Those interested in attending the induction ceremony can call 301-314-2619. Tickets are $85 apiece, with tables of 10 available for $800.

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