STEUBENVILLE – University of Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari will be the keynote speaker at Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 2013 Baron Club Dinner (formerly the Century Club Dinner).
It begins at 7 p.m. on April 20, and is the major fundraising event of the year for Baron athletic programs.
A native of Moon Township, Pa., and a 1978 graduate of Moon Area High School, Calipari garnered his first NCAA National Championship a year ago, when he led the University of Kentucky to its eighth title.
Calipari is one of only two coaches to lead three schools to a Final Four finish. En route to the 2012 national championship, Calipari guided the Wildcats to an NCAA record-tying 38 wins and a 16-0 mark in the Southeastern Conference. He has also been the head coach of the New Jersey Nets and assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Calipari impresses upon his players the importance of academics and the development of life skills. Fifteen of the last 18 seniors who came through his Memphis program earned their bachelor’s degrees. The Kentucky team posted a 3.12 grade- point average in the 2012 spring semester with 10 players earning a 3.0 GPA or better.
Calipari is the author of two books, “Refuse to Lose” and “Bounce Back: Overcoming Setbacks to Succeed in Business and in Life.”
“People who remember last year’s dinner (with speaker Lou Holtz) can look forward to an equally enjoyable evening,” said Mike Florak, director of community development at the university.
ESPN’s John Buccigross will return to his hometown to be the master of ceremonies, as he did for the 2011 dinner. Buccigross is a 1984 graduate of Steubenville Catholic Central. His ESPN duties include hosting “SportsCenter,” “Baseball Tonight,” “NHL 2Night.” Buccigross’ admitted favorite sport is hockey, which prompted him to write the book, “Jonesy: Put Your Head Down and Skate,” about former NHL player Keith Jones.
At the dinner, the 2013 Baron Club President’s Award will be presented to Rich Wilinski, principal of Steubenville Catholic Central High School, for his 54 years in education and his contributions to Ohio Valley youth. It will also be presented posthumously to longtime community and business leaders Arthur J. D’Anniballe Jr., CPA, and Robert J. D’Anniballe Sr.
Wilinski has served as principal of Catholic Central since 2008, and was a former teacher and head football coach at the school in the 1970s and 1980s. He served as principal of Buckeye North High School from 1985-1989, and as principal of Edison High School from 1989-2008. He also taught and was head football coach at Toronto High School from 1970-1977.
His career in education began in 1959 at St. Anthony’s High School in Follansbee. He has received numerous awards for his achievements on the football field, in the classroom, and as a school administrator, especially for his unfailing dedication to molding and educating area youth.
Brothers Arthur and Robert D’Anniballe were fixtures in the Steubenville community.
Successful in business, they gave much back to the community, including fundraising for the Teramana Cancer Center and Franciscan University athletics, though both avoided drawing attention to their many works of charity. Both were charter members of the Franciscan University Century Club, which preceded the Baron Club.
Reservations are required. Tickets are available starting at $60 each at www.FranciscanAthletics.com/BaronClub or from the Alumni Office at (740) 284-5210.