Lou and Dolly deFilippo Scholarship Fund
Est. 2006 to provide scholarships for Derby graduates
Every once in a while, if you are fortunate enough, someone comes into your life who truly points you on a path towards success - someone who gets you to believe in yourself and your ability to do extraordinary things. For hundreds of young football players at Derby High School from 1968-1982, that special someone was Coach Lou deFilippo. If you were one of those lucky to either play for Lou or to be associated with him in any way, you knew from the beginning he was the architect of great character and principle.
"As players, the very ?rst time we met Coach deFilippo we knew it was going to be the start of something special," said John Saccu, who played football for Derby High School from 1966-1969. "Lou called us 'his boys' that ?rst day, and even as grown men he would still refer to us as 'his boys' when we would get together to reminisce about the good old days. Lou loved it when we would come to visit. You could see his eyes light up with anticipation, wanting to know how we were doing."
In order to honor the legacy of legendary coach Lou deFilippo and his lovely wife Dolly, a group called "Team deFilippo" comprising players, coaches, and friends of the deFilippo family established a scholarship in their name. When plans for the scholarship became known, former players from as far away as Florida o?ered their support.
"The response was truly amazing. This is long overdue," said Frank Romano, a former player and the owner of Frankie's Grill in Derby. "While football was among his priorities, education was always ?rst," said former assistant coach Charlie diCenso.
"It makes this scholarship that much more meaningful to us because we know it's something he would've wanted us to do, and would've been proud of. It didn't take us long to realize that Lou had a partner in his plan, an assistant coach twenty-four hours-a-day, who believed in him and accepted us into her life as if we were her own sons. The respect people everywhere had for him and for Dolly is immense," said Mr. Saccu. "We will always be Lou's boys—and now his family has grown even larger through the creation of the Team deFilippo family. Both Lou and Dolly taught us, through example, that to live extraordinarily is more than just putting e?ort in when you have to, rather it is an entire way of life."
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