O’Malley Honored for Commitment to Coaching Education, Sportsmanship

Apr 19, 2010

      In appreciation of his continued commitment to athletics and sportsmanship in northeastern Pennsylvania, John J. O’Malley, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology and chairman of Bochicchio Sport Character Initiative, garnered two awards recently, including an Honorary Membership Award from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association (PSADA).

      At the PSADA’s annual awards banquet, held recently in Hershey, Dr. O’Malley was honored for his sustained work and leadership with interscholastic athletics, particularly his promotion of coaching education. 

      “He has been a real leader in the Greater Scranton area for coaching education,” said Gerald Schwille, president-elect of PSADA and athletic director at Northern York School District. “He has partnered with us to help promote our American Sport Education Program (ASEP) and deliver that initiative to coaches of high school, middle school and youth sports. We couldn’t be more pleased, as an association, with our partnership with him and The University of Scranton.” 

      Schwille explained Dr. O’Malley’s passion and enthusiasm for athletics, coaching education and children is “contagious,” leading to ASEP’s success in the area.

      In addition to PSADA’s award, the Institute for International Sport recognized Dr. O’Malley, naming him one of their 2010 Sports Ethics Fellows. The Sports Ethics Fellow celebrates distinguished individuals who have advanced the cause of fair play in American society. Former honorees include such prominent sports figures as Lance Armstrong, Grant Hill, Jeff Gordon and Herman Edwards.

      Dr. O’Malley noted the excellent observances of National Sportsmanship Day conducted by regional school districts and at The University of Scranton.     

      “We want to promote the Positive Coaching Alliance ideal of teaching life lessons through sports — that is what we are all about,” Dr. O’Malley said of the Bochicchio Initiative. “We want people to understand the value of sports, and that sports are an educational endeavor. Sports teach us to value character and sportsmanship, how to be better citizens, how to succeed in sports and in life and so much more. These lessons are consistent with the mission of The University of Scranton.” 

      Dr. O’Malley praised the work of the volunteers of the Bochicchio Sport Character Initiative, which honors the memory of Joe Bochicchio, a longtime women’s soccer coach at Scranton. More than 75 volunteers – faculty, athletic directors, coaches, and athletes from colleges and high schools in northeastern Pennsylvania - served as staff for coaching workshops featuring ASEP (“Athletes First, Winning Second”) and the Positive Coaching Alliance (“Coaching for Winning and Life Lessons”) activities. 

      Having served as psychology chair from 1977 to 1987, Dr. O’Malley was the University’s NCAA faculty athletics representative from 1987 to 1999.  He was a volunteer assistant softball coach from 1993 to 1997 and again from 2001 to 2006.

      In 1992, Dr. O’Malley was named “Northeastern Pennsylvania Sportsman of the Year” in recognition for contributions to youth sports and in particular for promoting sportsmanship and fair play. In 2009, he was voted “Teacher of the Year” by the members of The University of Scranton’s graduating class.  

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