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Alfred V Morro

Alfred V Morro

(1920-2005) ~ Inducted 2016

Without exaggeration one can safely state that Al Morro, teacher, coach, and athletic director at Classical High School, gained more fame and recognition than any other faculty member at that nationally-renowned educational institution — and that fame is well-deserved. Born in New York in 1920, a son of Carmelo and Anna (Morgera) Morro, Al came to Providence where he attended Central High School and set the state high school record in the discus throw. His prowess in the field events and in football earned him a scholarship to Boston College where he starred on the 1942 Eagles team that was edged by Alabama in the 1943 Orange Bowl. While at Boston College he qualified in the discus for the 1940 U.S. Olympic team that was scheduled to compete in Tokyo until World War II intervened, and he set BC records in the discus and hammer. He received an offer to play professional football for the Chicago Bears but declined because, as he told fellow coach (and his nominator) Kevin Barrett, “teaching in Providence paid better.” One of Als former student- athletes described him as follows: “He was a bear of a man: six foot two, with enormous hands, long arms, and a powerful build.” Another grateful student — a physician — recalled that “those of us who were 'Morro men* owed much to the principles Al taught us through athletic competition. His 'Three Ds* — desire, determination, and drive were legendary. He used the track and football field to instill these traits in his athletes” Al was unquestionably the greatest field event “throws” coach in Rhode Island history. At one time, and for many years, his throwers held the all-time state high school records in the shot put, discus, javelin, and hammer. Two of those records even survive today: Charles Ajootian with a shot put of 62'- 5 V/ in 1965 and Alan Baginski with a discus throw of 198'-7" in 1979. One might expect a muscular, hands-on coach to be less strong in the classroom—not so with Al Morro. He was an expert in the history of ancient civilizations and an academic inspiration to his students. One of them, Professor Adam D. Blistein, executive director of the American Philological Associations Society for Classical Studies gratefully attested to Als proficiency and in^uence in an essay written for the Society's journal. It was entided “My Path to Classics: My Teacher, Alfred V. Morro.” Upon Morros retirement after more than 50 years at Classical, the school named its athletic complex in his honor, and he earned an easy induction into the Rhode Island High School Athletic Hall of Fame just before his death on December 13, 2005 at the age of 85. He never married.


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