Clovis Mourns Icon Daryle Lamonica “The Mad Bomber”

Clovis High alum and star quarterback Daryle Lamonica talks during his introduction into the Clovis Unified Athletic Hall of Fame. Lamonica went on to star at Notre Dame then professionally for the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders, leading the Raiders to the 1968 Super Bowl against the Packers. [Photo by Ron Webb]
Former Oakland Raiders quarterback and Clovis High school graduate, Daryle Lamonica passed away at 80, on Thursday, April 21. 

Lamonica left behind a lasting legacy for his community, being the namesake for Clovis High’s Lamonica Stadium where each graduating class holds their graduation ceremony each year.

On the evening of Friday, April 22, Clovis High held a tribute ceremony for Lamonica at the stadium.

Friday evening, the press box bearing Lamonica’s name was illuminated in ‘cougar blue’ with his image displayed on the stadium’s scoreboard. 

Stephanie Hanks, Clovis High School’s Principal, shared a message conveying gratitude for the way Lamonica represented his community.

“As we reflect on the contributions of one of Clovis High School’s greatest, we pay homage to the pride, unity, and excellence he brought to our community. This evening Clovis High School will be honoring Mr. Daryle Lamonica as we recognize his impact on both Clovis High School and Clovis Unified,” Hanks said.

In a media statement from Clovis Unified, Lamonica is described as having established performance and character for student-athletes who followed his graduation from Clovis High School.

According to Kelly Avants, “His legacy is one that will live on not only through the beloved stadium that bears his name, but in the coaches, student-athletes, and fans who are a part of the Clovis Unified athletic tradition.”

According to a press release from the now Las Vegas Raiders, Lamonica is remembered for his willingness to take chances on the field.

“The Raider Nation will forever miss his easy-going nature and warm smile. Our deepest condolences are with his wife Mary, son Brandon, the rest of the Lamonica family, teammates and friends.” 

Nicknamed “The Mad Bomber” for his incredible passing arm, Lamonica’s history with the Raiders goes back to 1967 when he was acquired and helped lead the team to an American Football League (AFL) championship and made an appearance in Super Bowl II during his second year with the Raiders.

An article republished in remembrance of the Clovis High graduate emphasized what Lamonica thought of his career with the Raiders in his own words.

“I look back at my career with the Raiders and how fortunate I was to be traded and have the opportunity to be starting quarterback. That’s what I’m most proud of – that I was able to contribute to some of those wins and to be part of that group of guys that enjoyed winning,” Lamonica said.

Lamonica played on the Raiders for eight seasons, during which he threw 1,138 passes for 16,655 yards and 148 touchdowns and was named the AFL most valuable player in 1967 and 1969 and was selected for the 1970 and 1972 Pro Bowl.

Adam Ricardo Solis has written for The Collegian as a staff reporter covering a variety of topics and transferred from Fresno City College to Fresno State where he majored in agriculture business. He is excited to incorporate what he has learned about the agriculture industry in the Central Valley into future articles while also covering a variety of other community matters.