Curry coach earns Ron Burton Award
Curry College football coach Skip Bandini of Waltham will receive the 2012 Ron Burton Distinguished American Award from the Jack Grinold/EasternMassachusetts chapter of the National Football Foundation.
The award - named in memory of the late New England Patriots running back who cofounded the Pop Warner program in Framingham - is presented to a former player who has carried the lessons learned on the field to a lifetime of service to the community.
The 2011 recipient was Belmont native Don Ruggeri, who coached Bandini at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Bandini later served on Ruggeri’s staff at Buzzards Bay for two seasons. Both are members of the academy’s hall of fame.
The presentation will be made May 14 during the chapter’s scholar-athlete banquet at Lantana’s in Randolph. The chapter is named in honor of Grinold, Northeastern University’s longtime sports information director who is also originally from Belmont.
“I’m extremely humbled and so proud that my college coach received the same award last year and that it is named for Ron Burton, who did so much for his sport and his community,’’ said Bandini, a former team captain and lineman at Mass. Maritime. His college coaching resume includes offensive coordinator at MIT, defensive coordinator at Mount Ida College, and a line coach at University of Massachusetts Lowell.
The selection was made in August, but was not announced until the organization’s board of directors meeting earlier this month.
“I asked Skip to come and talk about MasterSports, the organization he has founded that distributes scholarship money to deserving high school players to help with college expenses,’’ said Roger Crosley, the chapter’s president and executive director.
“After Skip made his presentation, we surprised him with the honor.’’
An inductee to the Bridgton Academy Hall of Fame, Bandini was an assistant coach at Curry before succeeding former Patriots linebacker Steve Nelson as head coach in 2006. Bandini and his Curry staff recently coached the victorious North squad at the Division 3 North-South Senior Classic in Salem, Va.
His coaching stint at Mass. Maritime was literally a case of Ruggeri waiting for his ship to come in.
Because one of Ruggeri’s assistant coaches was aboard the academy’s training vessel, which was delayed getting back to port, Ruggeri asked Bandini if he could fill in.
“Skip was a hard-nosed guard for me and an outstanding individual and coach,’’ said Ruggeri. “There was no one better as a lead run blocker.’’
In 1999, Mass. Maritime retired Bandini’s number 62 jersey and in 2005 he was honored by the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association with its Distinguished Service Award. Bandini, a graduate of Don Bosco Tech in Boston, is also director of facilities for the Waltham public schools.
Here and there
Stonehill College freshman Nicholas Staley has twice been selected Northeast -10 Conference Field Rookie of the Week.
He made an impressive college debut at the Jay Carisella Invitational, hosted by Northeastern University, provisionally qualifying for the NCAA Division 2 Indoor Track & Field Championships in the high jump by clearing 6-feet, 9.75 inches.
A state high jump champion and Catholic Conference MVP at BC High, Staley, of Medway, followed that performance with a first-place jump of 6 feet, 8 inches at Brandeis University’s Reggie Poyau Invitational.
“Nick has the ability to break down instruction and apply it to his event,’’ said head coach Karen Boen. “His high school and now college teammate, Corey Thomas, is a great workout partner and I am sure the two of them will push one another to great heights.’’
Brookline’s Thomas, the NCAA Division 2 indoor high jump champ, has taken some time off to train and will be ready to go full tilt after holiday break, said Boen. . . .
Xaverian Brothers is seeking a varsity volleyball coach for the spring season. Current coach Steve Dacey has been promoted to assistant principal at the Westwood school. If interested, contact athletic director Charlie Stevenson at c.stevenson@XBHS.com
Marvin Pave can be reached at email@example.com.