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Matthew Vaccaro, Sr. Matthew Vaccaro, Sr.
Inducted: 2006 - Graduated:




Matthew M. Vaccaro Sr. was born in Brooklyn on October 5, 1923. He served during World War II in the U.S. Navy for three and a half years, stationed in the South Pacific. Upon his return he attended St. John’s University and graduated in 1949 with a bachelor of science degree. That same year he married Virginia Mary Cullen. Their fruitful union spanned 55 years and produced four children and eventually eight grandchildren.


In November 1960, Matt moved his family from New Rochelle to Nanuet. Like many fathers, he involved himself in the sports and extracurricular activities of his children. During that time he was employed as a territory manager for the pharmaceutical firm Wyeth Laboratories.


Matt’s first involvement with the Nanuet sports community came as a Babe Ruth League baseball manager. He served three years as the manager of the Yankees and won one league championship.


In the mid-1960s Matt Vaccaro established himself as one of the most seminal and influential figures in the history of Nanuet High School athletics. Together with Harvey Conklin and Ed Berich, he shared a vision that the time was at hand to inaugurate an athletic booster organization. As conceived by Matt and the other founders, the new organization would honor outstanding athletes from all sports with formal dinners, awards and financial support for college. Matt and Ed Berich made formal presentations before the Nanuet Board of Education and successfully secured approval to form the Black and Gold Club. Ralph Smith was also enlisted to help form the fledgling group.


In 1966, the Black and Gold Club and the Black and Gold Scholarship were established. For 40 years this organization has been the cornerstone for Nanuet athletics.


In addition to co-founding the Black and Gold Club, Matt – working closely with coach Dave Hanson – played a key role in establishing the Nanuet Relays in 1968. This event continues today as one of the premier high school track and field events in New York State.


In 1994 Matt and Virginia moved to Ossining, in Westchester County. On New Year’s Day, 2005, Matt passed away at the age of 81.