Alumni Award Winners
|Robert Valesente '62, M.S. '67|
|Professional Achievement Award|
A native of Seneca Falls, New York, Bob Valesente was a three-sport athlete in high school, playing football, basketball, and baseball. He lettered in all three sports.
While attending Ithaca College, Bob played four years of football and baseball and was co-captain of the baseball team that played in the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1962. Bob was named to the all-ECAC and all-American teams. He majored in physical education, graduating in 1962 with a bachelor of science degree, then earning a master of science degree in 1967, also in physical education.
Following graduation, Bob spent two years in the Chicago Cubs organization as a center fielder. He entered the college football coaching ranks in 1964 at Cornell University, where he spent 10 years as an assistant coach. He then went on to coach at the University of Cincinnati, the University of Arizona, Mississippi State University, Kansas University (as head coach), the University of Maryland, and the University of Pittsburgh.
Bob also coached in the National Football League with the Baltimore Colts, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the 1997 Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, and the Carolina Panthers. He was later a defensive coordinator for the NFL Europe Frankfurt Galaxy, the 2003 World Bowl champions, and he recently coached with the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes, who won the 2010 German Football League national championship.
Bob was inducted into the Ithaca College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1971. His brother, George Valesente '66, M.S. '75, has been Ithaca College's head baseball coach since 1978.
Bob lives on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, with Joan, his wife of 50 years. They have three children—Ginger, Robert, and Michelle—and seven grandchildren.