Catholic Sports Radio Archives
He was chosen in the second round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Cincinnati Reds and went on to play eleven seasons, appearing in over 900 regular season games with the Reds and the Atlanta Braves combined. He played an additional 19 games in the playoffs, including going to three World Series, winning one. After his playing career in the big leagues, he was part of the broadcast team for Atlanta Braves games on both television and radio. Back in his days as a student-athlete he also starred in football, and even went on to play professional slow pitch softball after his time in MLB. He is a past Chairman of the Board of the Major League Alumni Marketing and his story was told in a book called, “Welcome to the Big Leagues… Every Man’s Journey to Significance.”
He was a pro heavyweight boxer from 1977 to 1990, following an amateur career in which he posted an amazing won-lost record of 55-3. As a pro, he was 28-3, with 24 of those victories coming by knockout. He rose to a number one ranking by the WBC and in Madison Square Garden in 1981 defeated former world heavyweight champion Ken Norton by a knockout just 54 seconds into the first round. According to the legendary George Foreman, he was one of the three hardest punchers Foreman had faced in his career, which is proven by him being ranked on “The Ring’s” list of “100 Greatest Punchers of All Time.” Unfortunately, there was a curveball thrown into all this, though, as evidenced by the book he co-authored, which is talked about here. He founded F.I.S.T. — the Fighters’ Initiative for Support and Training, an organization which helps retired boxers find jobs. He is an inductee of multiple Halls of Fame and has a show on SiriusXM Radio.
He is a film actor, New York Times Best-Selling author, producer, host, and two-time Emmy winner. He currently hosts NBC’s “Access Hollywood” and “Access Daily” as well as a national radio show. Plus, he even has his own sports-related podcast that is talked about on this episode. He was recently inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, recognized as the 2022 Outstanding American, having wrestled for Chula Vista High School, finishing second in the San Diego section and seventh in the California Interscholastic Federation state tournament as a senior in one-class California in 1991. He also just held a golf classic for the Providence Saint Joseph Foundation. (Listen too as he also mentions boxing and jiu-jitsu.)
He is the Director of Athletics and Activities at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He has been supporting student-athletes as a member of the CCHS staff for ten years, and one year ago was promoted to his current role after having been Assistant Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer. In total he has had an 18-year career in secondary school athletics, working with hundreds of coaches and thousands of athletes. He did his undergrad in Athletic Training at Merrimack College and earned his Master’s in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation — with a concentration in Athletic Training and Athletic Administration — from Western Michigan University. As a student-athlete himself, he had played football in high school.
He has been running for almost 49 years and has run over 72,000 miles, which means he has averaged running four miles a day for almost 49 years. Three years ago, he won the State of Washington 6K Cross Country Championship and the Regional Championship. Back in his college days he started at the University of Oregon and participated in multiple intramural sports and ran on his own, including running his first marathon, before transferring to Oregon College for his junior year, running cross country and track there. He had been a wrestler in high school, although he did end up doing cross country as well. He has also coached extensively, including getting a job in the fall of 1984 at Redmond High School, where he coached cross country and track and didn’t retire until June of last year.
He is what you might call a late bloomer with an amazing story of being far more active in sports now than he was at traditional youth, student, and post graduate ages, due to his upbringing. An adventure traveler, present day he participates in running, biking, hiking, and skiing. His devotion to his Catholic faith can be seen in that two months ago he put out a book that is designed to help business owners determine both when to sell and how to sell their companies, YET, by sharing his *personal* story, he achieved #1 Amazon New Release status in the Catholic Self Help category. (NOTE: This episode contains sensitive and emotional subject matter.)
He will be inducted this year into the St. Ignatius Athletics Hall of Fame. For 20 years he has run a basketball camp in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and has coached both basketball and track at two different high schools, plus he also coached AAU basketball. As a student-athlete he had played basketball on a full athletic scholarship at St. Francis College of Pennsylvania, which followed a high school career during which he was a four-year letterman in track and three-year letterman in basketball. Prior to his senior season of basketball, he was selected as one of the top players in Ohio by USA Today. Last year he published a book called, “A Penny’s Thoughts: Sometimes All You Need is a Change of Perspective.”
He was an International Softball Federation-certified fastpitch umpire, working seven World Cup events and the World University Games. He continues to work Division I, II, and III college softball games, including having worked the NCAA Division III World Series. Additionally, he assigned and worked in the National Pro Fastpitch League for 12 years. He currently assigns softball for seven college conferences & Independent. He had even assigned umpires for the Rebel Spring Games, which is the longest-running spring collegiate program in the nation. He also played men’s fastpitch softball and coached summer softball teams.
She was on the Division I George Mason women’s soccer team and then served in a Student Assistant Coaching/Manager role with the team. Earlier on as a student-athlete she had competed in three sports in high school: field hockey, track, and soccer. Now doing missionary work on a college campus, she was an all-state field hockey player and captain of her travel/high school soccer team. Injuries in her athletic career played a key role in the growth of her faith life, as she talks about here.