Special Honor for Roanoke Three-Time 1st-Team AA Pirro

Celebrating the rich tradition of Roanoke College athletics, Athletic Director Scott Allison announced today plans to honor John Pirro as Roanoke College's inaugural 'Walk of Inspiration' icon. A bronze bust of John in his lacrosse uniform, sporting his legendary ponytail, will be positioned at the walkway leading to Kerr Stadium.

Allison commented on the significance of those few, special Roanoke athletic icons who have inspired others by their example and selfless devotion to the ideals of intercollegiate athletics during their tenure at the College. "We think of John as one of those truly special people who have inspired others to achieve new heights while bringing significant positive recognition to Roanoke College."

Pirro played lacrosse at Roanoke from 1974-1977. During his career, John earned first-team All-American status on three separate occasions and earned the NCAA Division II-III Defenseman of the Year Award in both 1976 and 1977. After graduation, John played for the Long Island Lacrosse Club, where he was chosen first team All-USCLA.

Pirro returned to Roanoke College in the spring of 1979 as an assistant coach to Paul Griffin. He assumed the head coaching role in 1982. His 1983 team advanced to the NCAA Division III National Championship game. In that same year, John was selected as the NCAA Division III National Lacrosse Coach of the Year by the Hero's Lacrosse Association. Over his five year tenure as head coach, John's teams never lost an Old Dominion Athletic Conference game.

John was diagnosed with Huntington's disease in his mid 40s. Huntington's is a progressive neurodegenerative genetic disorder, which affects muscle coordination and leads to cognitive decline. There is no cure for HD, and full-time care is required in the later stages of the disease, but there are emerging treatments to relieve some of its symptoms. John resides in his hometown of Huntington, NY. He lives with his sister Jo Ann while he receives daily care.

2010-08-12



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