Lavery selected to Hall of Fame

Lavery selected to Hall of Fame
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Earl Lavery selected to Fairfield County Hall of Fame

Source: CT Post, By Rich DePreta, June 27, 2013

STAMFORD -- Appreciation for a life's work well done is something to strive for. For those involved in athletics, the Hall of Fame is the most likely measuring stick for success.

Six more prominent sports figures from the area received their just accolades as the Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame unveiled their Class of 2013 inductees Wednesday at their museum wing located at the Stamford UConn campus.

Into the Jackie Robinson Professional Wing went current ATP pro tennis player James Blake of Fairfield along with former major league umpire Mark Hirschbeck of Stratford. Now gracing the James O'Rourke Amateur Wing are former University of New Haven baseball standout Dennis Paglialunga of New Canaan and Raybestos Brakettes softball legend the late Allyson Rioux of Stamford. Inducted into the J. Walter Kennedy Community Service Wing were legendary Fairfield Prep football coach Earl Lavery as well as former Fairfield University, University of Hartford and Sacred Heart University athletic director Don Cook.

"I'm very honored to be selected," said Lavery currently enjoying retirement and golf in Rhode Island. "To look at the plaques of the inductees already on this wall and to be included in their company is very special indeed."

Lavery never had a losing season in his 24 years (1968-1992) coaching Fairfield Prep football. He retired with a record of 230-54-8 and three state football titles. At the time, his 230 victories were ranked No. 1 among Connecticut state high school football coaches. At present, Lavery's total ranks No. 7.

Lavery marvels at the instant video technology available today as opposed to the 8-millimeter game films sent out for next-day exposure during his tenure. But he feels one part of high school football has remained the same. "It is still about team. Kids can do things together that they can't do individually," said Lavery, who was voted into the CT High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 1991. "Good relationships with the kids remain the key. Success was always a team thing, not just about me."