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  • Writer's pictureThe Hammonton Gazette

A life well-lived

Former Hammonton High School and University of Alabama standout Vince DeLaurentis was honored in 2003 by the Crimson Tide prior to the November 15, 2003 game against Louisiana State University. DeLaurentis, wearing his old #54 Alabama jersey, was presented with a game ball at midfield in front of more than 83,000 spectators. DeLaurentis was a member of the Crimson Tide from 1950 to 1954, serving as defensive captain his senior year. He played in the 1954 Orange Bowl, in which Alabama defeated Syracuse 61-6. In 1953, DeLaurentis was on the field in the Cotton Bowl against Rice University when Rice running back Dickie Maegle was tackled by Alabama’s Tommy Lewis, who came off the bench in one of college football’s most storied plays. Above, the Fan-a-vision at Bryant-Denny Stadium shows DeLaurentis receiving the game ball in 2003. (Courtesy Photo)

The man known to so many locally simply as “Coach D” died on July 27 after a life well-lived.

Vincent D. DeLaurentis Sr. was 88 years old, and he leaves behind a legacy that impacted hundreds, if not thousands, of local and area lives. In addition to a stellar athletic and coaching career that included being named to the All State Football team while he attended Hammonton High School and playing football for the University of Alabama from 1950 to 1954 (including appearances in the 1953 Cotton Bowl and the 1953 Orange Bowl), DeLaurentis was a teacher in the Hammonton School District from 1958 to 1993, coached high school football, baseball, boys basketball and girls basketball and was a Past President of the Hammonton Education Association.

Along with his late wife Marie, DeLaurentis served as the supervisor at Hammonton Lake Park for almost 30 years. Together they started Camp Tuscaloosa there and later, READ Preschool.

“He will always be remembered through the positive impact he has had on so many lives through his teaching, coaching and mentoring. He has been a part of not only his family’s happy childhood memories, but of a generation’s,” his obituary said.

Even with his long list of accomplishments, DeLaurentis was first and foremost a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

He is survived by his three children and their spouses, Dawn and Admiral Karl Schultz, Dina and John Moorhead and Retired Captain Vincent D. and Joan DeLaurentis; 10 grandchildren, Joshua, Johnny, Mindy, Kelsey, Lindsey, Vincent, III, Annaliese, Ariana, Eric and Zachary; and four great-grandchildren.

These are the people who DeLaurentis impacted the most, and we are sure they will all carry on his legacy of being there for others, making a positive impact in the lives of everyone around them in a way that would make him proud.

Farewell, “Coach D”—you were an example of how to live life and make a positive difference.

Your example was, and is, a powerful message of how to connect with people.

It is a message Hammonton will always remember.


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