Courtesy: Southern Ct State Sports Publicity
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Southern Connecticut State University community is mourning the loss of Raymond DeFrancesco ’53, who served Southern in six decades as a student-athlete, coach and Director of Athletics. DeFrancesco passed away over the weekend after a brief illness.
DeFranceso was a two-sport standout as a student-athlete and team captain at then-New Haven State Teachers College as a member of the football and baseball teams. He later went on to serve as an assistant coach for both programs as well as the head freshman football coach.
In 1974, DeFrancesco was named as the Owls’ Director of Athletics and held that post until 1992. During his tenure as AD, the Owls won team national titles in men’s gymnastics and men’s soccer along with numerous individual crowns.
“Ray DeFrancesco’s contributions and impact to Southern Connecticut State University are both immeasurable and yet everlasting,” said current Owls’ Director of Athletics Jay Moran. “He was a true gentleman who helped to mold so many individuals in his roles as a coach, teacher and later, as Director of Athletics.
“One of the greatest compliments that I’ve received since I’ve taking over as AD here is that I’ve been compared to Ray D. – as a passionate AD who cares about Southern athletics, its student-athletes and its coaches just like he did. What an honor to have known him and more importantly what an honor it’s been to follow in his footsteps and be compared to this great Southern Connecticut legend. He will be missed by the entire SCSU athletic family and the entire university community.”
A resident of Branford since 1958, DeFranceso coached the town’s American Legion Post 83 baseball team for 15 years. He also volunteered for the Special Olympics, serving on the Region 8 Board as well as the state Special Olympics. Additional volunteer efforts were as a member of the American Legion Post 83, the Knights of Columbus, the South Central Board of Celebral Palsy and the SCSU Alumni Association.
Relatives and friends may call on Monday from 4-8 p.m. at the W.S. Clancy Memorial Funeral Home in Branford. A mass of Christian burial will be held on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church in Branford.