STAMFORD — The FCIAC formed its Hall of Fame back in 1995 with an inaugural class which included Stamford’s Paul Kuczo and Jack Lockery, Danbury’s Ed Crotty, Ludlowe’s Roger Warner, Staples’ Frank Dornfield, and New Canaan’s Joe Sikorski.
While plaques honoring those and subsequent Hall of Famers have been displayed in the trophy cases of their home schools, there’s never been a central location celebrating the league’s history — until now.
The FCIAC Hall of Fame plaques, along with a plaque dedicated to the John Kuczo and Ralph King Award winners, were unveiled in their new permanent home at Chelsea Piers in Stamford on Friday morning. The event was held in conjunction with the Fairfield County Sports Commission’s announcement of its Hall of Fame class for 2019.
“It is wonderful because it ties right in with the Sports Commission Hall of Fame and all the names,” FCIAC commissioner Dave Schulz said after the unveiling. “We had those two big plaques and nowhere to put them. To now have these plaques permanently up there with the Sports Commission really solidifies our Hall of Fame, along with the John Kuczo and Ralph King Awards, which we started three years ago.”
The idea grew from the Commission’s annual Sports Night last fall, when former FCIAC commissioner John Kuczo and his father Paul were inducted into the FCSC Hall of Fame.
Tom Chiappetta, executive directory of the FCSC, offered his help to Schulz, and that eventually led to the Commission sponsoring the FCIAC’s Exemplary Scholar-Athlete awards, and to the Hall of Fame’s placement at Chelsea Piers. There are 16 people who are in both Halls.
“It’s the ideal complement for what we have here, with the number of people who are crossovers,” Chiappetta said. “People can see the name on the FCIAC plaque, and can match up those 16 people with our plaques and learn even more about them. Chelsea was very much supportive and realized that this would be something that would enhance what they’re doing.”
The event was a double celebration for John Kuczo, who unveiled his FCSC Hall of Fame plaque, along with one honoring his father.
“Normally we would do the unveiling of our plaques earlier in the spring, but having John here for both events — it doesn’t get any better than this,” Chiappetta said. “I’ve had a long relationship with John — I’m a Stamford guy and he was at Rippowam, so John being here today was at the top of the special meter without question.”
The Chelsea Piers location is heavily-trafficked, allowing many adults and children to learn more about the area’s sports history.
“A lot of people who come in here don’t know the athletes,” Chiappetta said. “All they know is that their kids are playing sports, so this will give us and the FCIAC some more visibility and show what it all means. It’s going to be terrific.”