Stillman Professor Dr. Donald F. Staffo Inducted into the Greater Utica (NY) Sports Hall of Fame
Tuscaloosa, Al. (June 19, 2014) - Dr. Donald F. Staffo, Professor and Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Health and Physical Education at Stillman College, was one of six recent inductees into the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame. The 25th Annual Induction Ceremony was held June 8th at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Utica, New York.
Staffo, one of two people in the country and the only living person to win the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance’s three top national awards and be inducted into the National Association for Sport and Physical Activity (NASPE) Hall of Fame, was nominated and voted in as an award-winning educator, athletics administrator and sports journalist.
The recipient of 7 national, 8 state, 2 district (13 states), 7 alumni, and 10 institutional/local awards, Staffo is in 5 Halls of Fame including NASPE, The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology Hall of Fame, and the SUNY Brockport Hall of Heritage. He recently completed his 46th year in education with the last 29 at Stillman. As a result of his distinguished career, he became the first faculty member to be named Chairman Emeritus in the 139-year history of the school.
In addition to being an athletic director who was instrumental in the implementation of football at Stillman, he served on the Task Force that developed the Great South Athletic Conference. He also served on the Task Force that developed the National Association for Sport and Physical Education National Coaching Standards and served two terms as Chairman of the National Youth Sports Coalition.
Staffo has authored 10 books, over 2,100 articles and a newspaper column that ran in 21 newspapers in several states. He has served on 35 international, national, district and local advisory and editorial boards. He will be starting his 30th year covering University of Alabama football and basketball for the Associated Press and he has covered sports for numerous publications, including The Tuscaloosa News, Bama Magazine, Touchdown Alabama and the Northport Gazette. Earlier in his career he covered Southeastern Conference Basketball for seven years for Basketball Times. He has also published articles in The Sporting News and USA Today.
Staffo recently received citations from the United States Congress, New York State Senate, New York State Assembly, Oneida County and the City of Utica. Mayor Robert M. Palmieri declared June 6, 2014 as ‘Dr. Donald F. Staffo Day in the City of Utica.’ Oneida County Executive Director Anthony J. Picente, Jr. honored Staffo and the other 2014 hall of fame inductees by declaring June 8, 2014 as ‘Sports Heroes Day in Oneida County.’ Last year Staffo received a citation from the Alabama House of Representatives for his career achievements.
Staffo was introduced by Dr. Robert Welcher, his former principal in Liverpool, NY. Welcher read statements supplied by others who nominated Staffo. Dr. William Stier, Jr. stated, "Dr. Staffo is the consummate professional and a true renaissance person who thrives on seeking out professional challenges and then successfully completing them. Don has had an extremely diversified and very distinguished career where he has achieved excellence in two separate professions- physical education and athletics administration, and sports journalism. It is hard to imagine many people matching his overall professional productivity, or accomplishing more in their career. Don’s extensive body of on-going work in two separate careers over more than four and a half decades, along with being a role model extraordinaire for physical fitness, would provide a standard of comparison for even the best health, physical education and athletics educators."
Dr. Robert Schneider stated, "I nominated Dr. Staffo for the Ohio State University Distinguished Alumni Award that goes to people who have made a major contribution on the international and national level and for the Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology Hall of Fame, the highest honor the college can bestow upon its graduates and one that is reserved for those whose contributions have been so significant that they are a model for all others, and I am pleased to say that Don won both of those honors.”
Professor Stephen Jackson stated, "Dr. Staffo is a leader by example through his commitment to his work where he has accomplished things and received honors that are unprecedented and that has taken him to the very top of his profession, and through his service to his community, and by his healthy lifestyle. Living in Alabama he is more than just an outstanding representative of Central New York, he is a shining light for Little Falls, and therefore is most deserving of being inducted into the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame."
After citing his successful 11-year teaching and coaching career in Liverpool, Welcher stated, “I have known Don Staffo for 42 years and beyond being an outstanding educator he is a loving husband, father and grandfather.”
At a social following the induction ceremony Staffo was given a personalized engraved baseball bat and a baseball signed by his “South Side Friends” to commemorate the event.