Text Box: CASEY-O’BRIEN NEW HAVEN COUNTY CHAPTER OF THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION

 


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HISTORY NEW HAVEN COUNTY CHAPTER



The National Football Foundation was started in 1947 by General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blake and renowned journalist Grantland Rice. Its mission was established to promote and develop amateur American football on all levels throughout the United States and to cultivate leadership, sportsmanship, enthusiasm for competition, and the drive for academic excellence among America’s youth.


In the fall of 1960 a group of well known area sportsmen met to discuss the formation of a local chapter. Information was gathered on the formation of a chapter to recognize youth from New Haven County who participated in football, excelled in the classroom and gave of their time through community service and school activities. On March 6, 1961 a meeting was held at Mory’s on York Street. In attendance were Frank Birmingham, Richard “Pop” Lovell, Sidney Glickenhouse, John “Swede” Lindquist, Joel Alderman, Bill Ahearn, Albert Montesano, Charles Kellogg, Paul Wingate, Donald Scharf and James Coogan. Also present was Harvey Harmon the Executive Director of The National Football Foundation.


Mr. Harmon indicated the national organization was making efforts to organize chapters throughout the country and was pleased that the group was anxious to establish one in Greater New Haven. A motion was made, “to organize a chapter known as the New Haven County Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame”.  The original officers were Frank Birmingham, President, Joel Alderman, Vice President, Paul Wingate, Treasurer and Jim Coogan, Secretary.


The first scholar athlete dinner was held the following May 21 at the Hotel Taft in New Haven and five young men were honored, including John Bowman of Choate School, David Crosby of Milford High School, George Nowak of Hopkins Grammar School, E. Donald Lewis of Sacred Heart High School of Waterbury and Paul Titus of North Haven High School. The scholar athlete dinner has continued every year since. A second dinner was added each fall from 1963 to 1971 honoring outstanding citizens until it was made part of the scholar athlete dinner each spring.


Since that first dinner was held almost 1200 scholar athletes have been recognized for their academic achievement and their community and school activities. Since then over $125,000 in scholarships has been awarded to applicants at the annual banquet.


The New Haven Chapter has also honored some of the county’s most outstanding high school coaches with our Coach of the Year Award, has recognized hard working members with the Chapter Award of Merit and a member of the New Haven Football Officials Association with the Official Recognition Award. Chapter high school state championship teams are also honored yearly.

In addition, an impressive list of Distinguished American recipients have been honored including several mayors and congressmen, head coaches from both college and professional football, educators and college presidents. The list also includes an orthopedic surgeon, the Director of the International Special Olympics, a Super Bowl winning player, an outstanding author, a former State Attorney General, two members of the College Football Hall of Fame, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a long time dedicated football official, a Connecticut Supreme Court Justice and a decorated war hero, just to name a few.  


Activities for the New Haven chapter include fall dinner meetings for members and guests that include a variety of speakers, the Hall of Fame Classic All Star game and our annual scholar athlete banquet. The chapter was also one of the first in the country to participate in the NFF Play it Smart program.


In April 1993 the chapter voted to change our name to The Gene Casey- New Haven County Chapter, after former President and Executive Director Gene Casey for his thirty-one years of leadership and commitment to the organization. During the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s no one was more dedicated, or gave more to the chapter, then Gene. Sadly he passed away in 1997.


Overall the chapter remains very active and is always looking for new members who want to be part of such an outstanding organization as the National Football Foundation. At present there are over 100 members from the private sector, education and coaching ranks. Applications are available on the chapter web site www.newhavenfootballfoundation.com for those interested.   


 

 

 

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Contact Info:
7 Brookwood Dr.
Branford, CT 06405
203.988.0241

Email:obrienwt@comcast.net



Gene Casey has Chapter named after him by Chapter President Bill O’ Brien as wife Polly Stands by

Gene Casey reacts as Bill O’Brien and close friend Larry McHugh congratulates him

Founding members L-R John “Swede” Lindquist, Vin Aitro and Don Scharf

The New Haven Chapter awarded a $2,000 grant to the Southern Connecticut Pop Warner Youth Football League under the NFL-National Football Foundation Youth Grant Program. Chapter members present for the presentation included President Bill O'Brien, VP Paul Criscuolo, West Haven Coach Ed McCarthy and member Mike Last
 

Roll Call of Champions

1976
Hand
Ansonia

1977
Fairfield Prep
Ansonia
Hand

1978
Amity

1979
Ansonia
North Branford

1980
Seymour
St. Joseph

1981
Naugatuck
St. Joseph
Ansonia

1982
Fairfield Prep
Hand
St. Joseph
Ansonia

1983
St. Joseph
Ansonia

1984
Wilbur Cross
Hand
St. Joseph
Ansonia

1985
Hillhouse
Lyman Hall
Sheehan
Derby

1986
West Haven
Watertown

1987
West Haven
Morgan
Ansonia

1988
Fairfield Prep
Shelton
St. Joseph
Ansonia

1989
West Haven
Hand
St. Joseph
Ansonia

1990
St. Joseph
Sacred Heart
Derby

1991
Notre Dame

1992
Cheshire

1993
Cheshire
Naugatuck
Seymour

1994
Cheshire
Foran
Ansonia

1995
Cheshire
Shelton
Ansonia

1996
Cheshire

1997
Cheshire
Hand

1998
Seymour

2000
Hyde
Shelton

2001
Notre Dame

2002
Ansonia
Hillhouse
West Haven

2003
Ansonia
Hand
Shelton

2004
Hand
Woodland
Hyde

2005
Xavier
Branford
Hand
Woodland
Hyde

2006
Holy Cross
Ansonia
Hillhouse

2007
Seymour
Ansonia


2009
Notre Dame

Cheshire

Hyde

2010
Xavier
Hillhouse

2011
Xavier

Hand

Ansonia

Holy Cross

2012
Xavier

Hand

Ansonia
Hillhouse

 


2009 Coach Mark Ecke Cheshire

 

2009 Coach Tom Marcucci Notre Dame

 

2010 Coach Tommy Dyer Hillhouse


1995 Mark Ecke Coach of Cheshire

1997 Steve Filippone Coach of Hand

1998 Paul Sponheimer Coach of Seymour

2000 Joe Benanto Coach of Shelton

2000 John Aquavita Coach of Hyde

2001 John DeCaprio Coach of Notre Dame

2002 Eric Barbarito Coach of Hillhouse

2005 Gary Gravina Coach of Branford

2005 Champions (L-R)- John Aquavita, Hyde, Gary Gravina, Branford, Steve Filippone, Hand, Chapter President Bill O’ Brien, Chris Anderson, Woodland, and Sean Marinan, Xavier HS

2006 Tom Brockett Coach of Ansonia

2011 Coach Sean Marinan Xavier


2011 Coach Mike Giampetruzzi Holy Cross

2012 Coach Tom Brockett Ansonia

2012 Coach Tom Dyer Hillhouse

2012 Coach Steve Filippone Hand

 

 
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