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Scholar Athletes

Each spring the New Haven Chapter recognizes seniors that have played football and excelled in the classroom. Candidates are nominated by their schools and must have excellent grades and participated in school and community activities. After their selections, they, their parents and coaches are invited to attend a reception to learn of the honor, receive facts concerning the dinner and have pictures taken to promote their honor. Tuxedos are provided by the chapter for the dinner and each scholar athlete will be asked to answer a question concerning their high school football career. Scholarships are also awarded to applicant’s who qualify.

In addition to the scholar athletes, awards are also presented to the chapter Coach of the Year, Official of the Year, Chapter Member Merit Award Honoree, and Distinguished American. Special Achievement is also recognized when selected by the board.

Nearly 1,000 scholar athletes have been honored by the New Haven Chapter since 1962. We are proud of their achievements and what they have learned about teamwork, self-discipline, sportsmanship and leadership.


2012 Scholar-Athlete Dinner Photos

2011 Scholar-Athlete Dinner Photos

2010 50th Anniversary Reception

2010 Scholar-Athlete Dinner Photos

2009 Scholar-Athlete Reception Photos

2009 Scholar-Athlete Dinner Photos

2008 Scholar-Athlete Dinner Photos

Patriots lineman Joe Audruzzi (Distinguished American Award) shakes hands with Branford coach Gary Gravina (04’ Coach of the Year)

Back to Back National Scholar Athletes. Brendan Panda (L) Fairfield Prep 96’ Dartmouth and Brian Sponheimer Notre Dame H.S. 97’ and Harvard

Chapter Chaplin- Rev. Owen Sanderson

Bill O’ Brien welcomes the crowd.

Peter Mazza Cheshire 1996 and Yale Capt. 2000

Scholar Athletes march to the head table

Pledge of Allegiance

Paul Criscuolo greets the crowd

Pledge of Allegiance

Shelton coach Joe Benanto accepts championship award

Student Athlete Chair Dan Martin talks to the scholar athletes

Rick Walls Executive Director College Football Hall of Fame
Award Winners

1994 L-R Bob Casciola, President National Football Foundation, Mark Whipple, Coach of University of New Haven, Steve Filippone, Hand HS & Coach of the Year, Chapter President Bill O’ Brien, Distinguished American, Dr. Rich Diana, Merit Award Winner Joe Farina and Gene Casey, Former Executive Director.

1996 Former Chapter VP David Huntington, NFF VP Dave Torromeo. Official Award Winner Vin Reilly, Coach of the Year Joe Benanto Shelton, Distinguished American Tim Shriver, President International Special Olympics, Merit Award Winner Sabby Frinzi, Chapter President Bill O’ Brien

1998 Rick Walls NFF VP, Steve Filippone, Hand HS, Coach of the Year, Paul Pasqualoni, Head Coach Syracuse U, Distinguished American Award, Fred Ghiardini, Officical of the Year, Fran Lee, Merit Award Winner, Tony Sporano, Coach UNH, Special Award Winner and Chapter President Bill O’ Brien

2001 Steve Narracci, Official of the Year, Peter Mazza, Special Award of Merit, Bill O’ Brien, Distinguished American Kevin Gilbride, Coach San Diego Chargers, Merit Award Winner Rev. Owen Sanderson, Coach of the Year, Joe Benanto, Shelton

2002 Tim Penna Special Award of Merit, Coach of the Year John DeCaprio, Notre Dame HS, Bill O’ Brien, Distinguished American Dennis Manion, Official Award Winner Larry Griffin and Merit Award Winner Paul Criscuolo

2003 Steve Fordyce, Merit Award Winner, Joe Tonelli, Distinguished American, Bill O’Brien, Eric Barbarito, Hillhouse, Coach of the Year, and Al Ruocco, Official Award Winner.

2004 Rich Moran, Official Award Winner, Eileen Moriarty, Merit Award Winner, Bill O’ Brien, Darryl Rogers, Former AD SCSU and Head Coach Detroit Lions, Distinguished American Award, Rick McGowan, Amity, Coach of the Year

2005 Gary Gravina, Branford, Coach of the Year, Joe “Duke” McAlpine, Official Recognition Award, Joe Andruzzi, SCSU and Super Bowl New England Patriots, Distinguished American, Bill

O’ Brien and Jeff McCann, Merit Award winner

2006 Sean Marinan- Xavier HS, Coach of the Year, Bill O’ Brien, Leigh Montville, former Sports Illustrated Senior Writer and Author, Distinguished American, Mike Barbaro, Official Recognition Award and Mark Ecke, Chapter Award of Merit

2001- Distinguished American Kevin Gilbride- former head coach San Diego Chargers

1988- Distinguished American- New Haven Mayor John Daniels

1995- Distinguished American- Larry DeNardis, former Congressman and President of University of New Haven, and his wife Mary Lou .

1996- First Official Recognition Award Winner Vin Reilly

Distinguished American- Tim Shriver- President of International Special Olympics

Distinguished American- Tim Shriver- President of International Special Olympics

Distinguished American- Tim Shriver- President of International Special Olympics with Scholar Athlete N’Roy Moore of Hillhouse

First Official Recognition Award Winner Vin Reilly

Official recognition Award Winner Fred Ghiradini addresses the crowd

Distinguished American Paul Pasqualoni Syracuse University w/ Bill O'Brien

Distinguished American Mark Whipple Coach of U of Mass, National Champion Division 1A.

Distinguished American- Donald Nielson, Executive Director New Haven Gridiron Club

2001- Distinguished American Kevin Gilbride- former head coach San Diego Chargers
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