October 23, 2005

Galiette, Voice of Yale Football, Dies

Oct. 23, 2005

The Yale Athletic Department got word on Saturday morning that a great friend, fan and legendary football radio commentator, Dick Galiette, had passed away at the age of 72.

Galiette, who was calling his 33rd season of Yale football on 960-AM WELI and had worked the first five games this fall, broadcast his last game at Lehigh on Oct. 15. He fell ill the next day and never recovered.

Galiette, who retired from broadcasting in 1984 to become President and CEO of Galsports Publications/Marketing, was the primary announcer of Bulldog football for 25 seasons from 1963 until 1988 on various Connecticut radio stations before returning in 1998 to team up with former Yale head coach Carm Cozza.

"He was such a great professional to work with, and I learned a lot about broadcasting from him," said Cozza. "He put a lot of time and effort into his coverage of Yale football and the players really got close to him. Dick was at almost every practice and was committed to doing a complete job."

Galiette had a rich history of involvement in New England sports, serving as a football commentator for ABC-TV and ESPN and calling the Ivy Football Game of the Week on PBS for two seasons. He also did a season of University of Connecticut football on TV and two years of Atlantic 10 Conference basketball. Galiette, the former 18-year WTNH-TV Sports Director/Anchor and seven-time Connecticut Sportscaster of the Year, also taught communications at the University of New Haven, lectured on media relations, served as media advisor to the National Hockey League and worked as an administrative assistant to former New Haven Mayor Richard C. Lee. He also served as Executive Director for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association and was editor and publisher of National Coach Magazine.

"Dick had a passion and a gift for convincing you that Yale could and would win every game it played. He truly believed in how special Yale is," said Ron Vaccaro '04, who worked with Galiette on the broadcasts in a variety of roles and replaced him in the booth last week. "While he always called it as he saw it, I was so impressed that he was almost constantly upbeat about Yale football or life in general. I can't remember a single of the many conversations we had where I wouldn't end up laughing with him at least once. He was always the first person at the Bowl. That stemmed back to his childhood when he would take trips there. His strong bond with Yale was formed at an early age."

His sparkling career included many accolades for his work on college and professional sports, but he was most recently honored with the news that he would be inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame on November 10.

"Mr. Galiette was as nice a man as you would ever want to meet. He was loyal, honest and genuine. He took a personal interest in every player," said Bulldog quarterback and captain Jeff Mroz '05. "He wanted to know about each player, their background, about their family, anything you could possibly want to know. Mr. Galiette never missed a practice since I've been at Yale and took great pride in his work. I listened to many of his broadcasts last year and each one was excellent. This is a tough loss, one that will effect the Yale football community and all those who know him. He will never be forgotten. I'm going to miss him."

Galiette, a 1951 Southington (Conn.) High School graduate, attended New York Military Academy and the U.S. Naval School of Journalism before joining the Marines and beginning his storied broadcasting career.

"When you think of Yale football on the radio or Connecticut sports media, the name Dick Galiette comes to mind for so many people," said Steve Conn, Yale Assistant AD and Sports Publicity Director. "But that's not where the enormous void has been created. Dick meant a lot to many of the Yale players, staff and fans who will be reminded of his passing every Saturday they turn on the radio."

The funeral will be held on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Thomas Church at 99 Bristol St. in Southington. Relatives and friends may call at the DellaVecchia Funeral Home at 211 N. Main St. in Southington on Tuesday from 4-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the V.A. Medical Center, 950 Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT, 06516.

report filed by Steve Conn, Yale Assistant AD and Sports Publicity Director