DelFino leaves Johnston AD role for position at Immaculate Conception

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David A. DelFino’s impressive resume includes teaching and coaching at many levels, volunteering to help a man who’s suffering from Friedreich’s Ataxia and stepping outside the box to help educate inmates at the Adult Correctional Institution.

The Bishop Hendricken High School and University of Rhode Island graduate, who has compiled a long list of unique firsts, this week had to change that eye-popping, two-page printed list of experiences and accomplishments.

From April 2013 until last Friday, DelFino held the title of athletic director for Johnston High School and Nicholas A. Ferri Middle School. On Monday, the lifelong Johnston resident began a new position at Immaculate Conception Regional Catholic School in Cranston.

“The opportunity presented itself that would allow me to have the ability to interact with, teach and coach student-athletes directly,” DelFino said. “This has always been a passion of mine. The Johnston School Department was a great place to work with many caring administrators, teachers, coaches, parents and dedicated student-athletes.”

In his capacity at Immaculate Conception, DelFino will serve as a physical education/health teacher and coach for some of the regional Catholic school’s outstanding sports teams.

DelFino got quite a welcome Monday in his new position. As he walked down the corridor en route to the gymnasium, he had to stop time and again to accept handshakes and well wishes from a host of faculty.

It was a warm welcome that included a special statement from Brian Cordeiro, the principal at Immaculate Conception, who, like Delfino, is a proud graduate of Bishop Hendricken.

“Both Father Ron [the Rev. Ronald E. Brassard] and I are very happy to welcome Mr. DelFino to Immaculate Conception Regional Catholic School,” Cordeiro said.

“The leadership team member who joined me in interviewing our candidates was impressed by Mr. DelFino’s spirit of faith and his engaging personality. We are confident with our support and God’s grace he will find great joy in his vocation to serve our school.

“We are very fortunate to have a man of Mr. DelFino’s character and passion. I look forward to seeing him grow our physical education program in the years to come,” Cordeiro continued.

Now, for the second time since 2013, Johnston High must find a new athletic director. The search for DelFino’s successor has already begun, Schools Superintendent Dr. Bernard DiLullo announced this week.

DiLullo, in fact, said: “We’ve already received quite a few impressive resumes and we hope to schedule interviews as soon as possible.”

Until then, Johnston High Assistant Principal Robert DiMuccio is handling the day-to-day operations of the athletic department. He reportedly worked closely with Delfino over the last couple of weeks in order to prepare for an orderly transition.

The son of Richard Jr. and Debra DelFino of Johnston, David this week drew rave reviews from DiLullo, Johnston High Principal Zachary Farrell and other school administrators and teachers for his work.

“Although David’s tenure in Johnston was short, he worked hard at sustaining the great athletic programs here,” said DiLullo. “This was the first year lacrosse was added, and David insured its success by providing support to the team and new coaches. He was an integral member of the new athletic complex, offering suggestions on the structure. He kept me well informed regarding plans he had for improving our programs. He was very diligent regarding safety procedures for our athletes that include up-to-date physicals and equipment. David set high standards for coaches as well. It was a pleasure to work with him and I am sure he had a bright future in athletics.”

To which Farrell added, “I am, like the entire Johnston High School community, of course sad to see David go. He brought a steadfast sense of purpose to the mission of our athletic department that centered upon improving the experiences for student-athletes. His drive, alacrity and dedication to the students of Johnston High School will be sorely missed. On top of that, he is a great guy and will certainly prove to be an asset to the community at Immaculate Conception. I wish him all the best in his new undertaking.”

DelFino also reflected on his accomplishments.

“In the last year, I really focused on coming into full compliance with the Rhode Island Interscholastic League,” he said. “There are a lot of exciting initiatives going on in Johnston, such as the building of a state of the art athletic complex.”

DelFino, in fact, was one of 15 people chosen for a select committee to oversee the $3 million demolition and reconstruction of the high school’s athletic complex, which will result in a brand new football field, track, bleachers, press box and concession stand along with much more, including new arc-lights.

“Johnston athletics has a great future and great tradition,” DelFino said. “I hope in some small way that in the past year I made a positive contribution. I am looking forward to the opportunities ahead of me and wish the Johnston school community the very best and appreciate those opportunities they gave to me.”

DelFino, who during his undergrad days at URI worked directly for Rams director of basketball operations Kevin Tirone under head coach Dan Hurley, has also created basketball camps and led numerous other sports-related projects while also becoming certified in CPR, AED and Basic First Aid for adults, children and infants.

In conjunction with the Johnston Recreation Department, DelFino brought the stateside varsity girls’ summer basketball league to Johnston High, and organized student-athletes to go to Bryant University to supervise and volunteer at the 5K Race for former Matt DiOrio, who is suffering from FA disease.

DelFino also accepted a request by the RIIL to host the Boys’ RI state basketball playoffs, which brought hundreds of different people to Johnston High in March. He also worked with Panthers wrestling Coach Matt Mancuso to bring the Robert Smith Memorial Wrestling Tournament to the school, and that, he noted, was “extremely successful with over 10 teams participating.”

One of DelFino’s most impressive accomplishments was to put a system in place so that all coaches and players had the proper documentation and paperwork needed to participate and coach in the Johnston school district. He also raised the standard of Johnston athletics to make the best environment and experience for each student athlete.

As an athlete, DelFino was a champion. He helped Bishop Hendricken win state basketball championships in two successive seasons, as well as helped the Hawks win the 2007-08 state volleyball championship.

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