Citadel Board approves retirement of Buoniconti jersey
The Citadel Board of Visitors has voted to retire the jersey of former football player Marc Buoniconti, a member of the Class of 1988 who was paralyzed while making a tackle during a football game 20 years ago. The motion presented by Jack Douglas, chair of the board’s athletic committee, passed unanimously.
Buoniconti has been invited to return to The Citadel during Corps Day weekend on March 18. The ceremony to retire his jersey will take place at a halftime ceremony during the upcoming football season.
“We are delighted to honor Marc Buoniconti and welcome him back to campus and The Citadel family,” said Billy Jenkinson, chairman of the board of visitors. “Marc Buoniconti is most deserving of this recognition. The way he has turned personal tragedy into a means of service to others is an example of leadership that inspires us all.”
Buoniconti was a sophomore linebacker for the Bulldogs in 1985 when he suffered a spinal cord injury in a game played at East Tennessee State University. The injury left Buoniconti paralyzed from the neck down.
“I wanted to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to The Citadel for their gracious invitation to return to campus during Corps Day weekend and to have my football jersey retired during the upcoming football season. I have always been proud of my time at The Citadel with my teammates and classmates. It will be an honor for me to return and be recognized again as part of The Citadel family,” said Buoniconti.
Since his injury in 1985, Buoniconti and his family have worked tirelessly to raise awareness and money for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis in an effort to help others with spinal cord injuries. Based at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, The Miami Project has become the world’s largest center for research on spinal cord injuries.The board of visitors' action is the culmination of efforts by alumni and fellow team members to recognize and honor Buoniconti for his accomplishments as a Citadel cadet athlete and for his contributions to helping others with spinal cord injuries through his work with The Miami Project and The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis.