Catholic Sports Radio Archives
One of the winningest coaches in high school baseball, having coached for ten years at Tampa Catholic High School where he posted an amazing won-lost record of 329-39. His teams won four state championships and a national championship. He went on to coach at the University of Tampa and also scouted for Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals. Last year he was No. 26 on a list of the top 50 coaches in Tampa Bay sports history and he has been inducted into four Halls of Fame. He has his own foundation, which is dedicated to teaching young children life skills through sports. And just over a year ago he launched a series of what is now six books to bring life skills to young athletes through a diverse set of characters representing each baseball position on the field.
Every year since 1981 a tournament has taken place to promote high school baseball in Hillsborough County (Tampa, Florida area). It was first established as a memorial for Tony Saladino, Sr. and has grown from eleven public schools to now a 32-team event, with 38 players that have participated in the tournament having gone on to play in the Major Leagues, 12 of which were first round draft picks. The guest on this episode of CSR has been at the heart of all of this for all those years and is a lifelong Catholic.
Since June 2017 he has been the program’s second head men’s lacrosse coach at Benedictine College, a Catholic institution in Kansas, where he graduated from in 2013. As an undergrad he was a co-founder of the Men’s Lacrosse Club team there. He also has been an assistant coach at Rockhurst University AND was the head coach for the boys lacrosse team at St. Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic high school in Overland Park, Kansas. This past April he was named the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
In college she was left paralyzed with a broken back after a bus accident involving her swim team from the University of Notre Dame, with two teammates having been killed instantly. After five back operations and being told she wouldn’t walk, not to mention swim again, miraculously, she returned to competitive swimming for Notre Dame 21 months after the bus accident and her injury. Her 2008 book, What Though The Odds, details what she went through and her “journey of faith and triumph.” She later became Assistant Swim Coach at Xavier College Prep, the all-girls Catholic high school in Phoenix that she had attended. She also talks here about two pilgrimages this and two years ago that she says reignited her faith and commitment to service.
He was with the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills and, more recently, the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football. He had played college football at Dartmouth, and has now transitioned into the corporate world and life off the playing field. He also talks about what he’s doing at his parish as well as in the community.
A current member of the Charlotte Independence, which plays in the USL Championship, the largest pro soccer league in North America. He had played collegiately at Belmont Abbey, a Catholic school in North Carolina. He loves the game of soccer, but he is on fire for his faith, having become Catholic approximately 15 months ago.
The Flying Fathers were a hockey team of Catholic priests originally started back in the early 1960s. There is optimism of-late for the team’s resurrection, according to Father John Perdue, Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Peterborough in Ontario, Canada. He not only is playing for the team but leading their return. He talks about it during this conversation that was recorded while he was in Rome for the canonization of the five newest saints.
He is a champion of numerous surfing events. He is also a licensed scuba diver and licensed private pilot. Plus, he is a skydiver and has rappelled off mountains. He has even been a mentor on the adventure reality show “Clean Break” on the FOX network, as well as been a guest star and stuntman on “Hawaii 5-0.” He also has been seen on EWTN television and heard on EWTN Radio and has led pilgrimages to places such as Greece and Israel. Plus, he wrote two books, including one called, Deep Adventure: The Way of Heroic Virtue. He also is a Benedictine Oblate to the Mary Spouse of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Hawaii. He is also an inductee in the Sports Faith Hall of Fame.
He played 15 years of pro soccer, having retired last year from the United Soccer League after having initially been drafted into Major League Soccer. He had played the sport collegiately at Seton Hall University (a Roman Catholic university). Although he founded a program that teaches basic soccer skills to kids, he is now working for a pro-life organization. He is also in the Knights of Columbus and has started a men’s ministry. He also has a faith-based line of apparel.
In college he played Division I baseball and was being scouted by the New York Mets, going on to play at another college before eventually made his way out of the sport. He remains an avid surfer and has also found success in comedy and films, including a movie released earlier this year that he says is, “Littered with Catholicism.” He and a friend are also going around college campuses giving talks, which was spawned from his having participated in FOCUS.