2019 NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame Preview-Dick Cerone
Author: Alberto Cannistraci, Intern
DICK CERONE, Administrator
Dick Cerone dedicated over 50 years of his professional life to the improvement of the sport of football in New York State. He served NYSPHSAA as the Football Chairman from 1981-2014 and was the catalyst for initiating, developing and conducting the NYSPHSAA Football Finals at the Carrier Dome from 1993-2014. It was 16 years before the first football state tournament that Dick recognized the need to provide a playoff structure for the Section V football playoffs and did so in 1977 which began a long history of successful Section tournaments. As the Section Coordinator from 1974-2017, Cerone was responsible for numerous other improvements in the game including developing football clinics, establishing the NYS Football Coaches Association (where he served as President) and creating the Eddie Meath All-Star Game showcase event. Considered a “trailblazer” in football in NYS, Dick contributed an immense amount to the game while having a successful career as an Athletic Director at several schools including Monroe High School (1977-80), Greece Athena High School (1980-92) and Aquinas Institute (1996-2006). Since 2012, he has been serving as the Athletic Director at University Preparatory School. His numerous honors include being inducted into the Section V Football Hall of Fame, the Section V Executive Hall of Fame, the Aquinas Institute Hall of Fame, the Italian American Hall of Fame, and the Greece Athena High School Hall of Fame. He has additionally received the NFHS Appreciation Award, Kodak Community Service Award, Chapter 5 NYSAAA Distinguished Service Award and NYS Football Coaches Award. As a football coach from 1963-77 at Jefferson High School, Dick led his teams to three City Championships and went 68-45 while earning Coach of the Year honors three times. A West High School (Section V) graduate in 1953, Dick earned a bachelor’s and master’s from Ithaca College then went on to serve in the Army from 1954-56 where he played football and basketball, and umpired baseball during his service. He resides in Rochester with his wife Jean and the couple has four grown children (Rick, Rob, Charles, Carolyn), 11 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
“I was very shocked and very excited to be put into the hall of fame” says Cerone. “This to me is the highest honor in New York State and I am thankful to be alongside other great people.” Cerone pays his tribute to two of his closest friends Barney Smith and Rodger Bunce, who have driven his efforts and passion for sports. “These two along with others have been very important to me and have supported and influenced me.”
Cerone’s involvement in athletics has provided some of his most valuable memories. “All of my time coaching and being on a chairman has been so special to me. Also being able to travel around the country with the people I love has been wonderful”
The Class of 2019 will be inducted into the NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame on Wednesday, July 31st as part of the 96th annual Central Committee Meeting at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort in Verona.