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  • Writer's pictureThe Hammonton Gazette

Coach DeLaurentis dies

Was 88; Former owner of READ, Camp Tuscaloosa

Vincent DeLaurentis was the former owner of READ Preschool and Camp Tuscaloosa. (Courtesy Photo)

HAMMONTON—Vincent D. DeLaurentis, Sr., 88, of Hammonton, died on July 27. DeLaurentis was a star athlete from Hammonton High School who played football at the University of Alabama in the 1950s, was a longtime teacher and coach at the Hammonton School District, and along with his wife Marie served as supervisor of Hammonton Lake Park as well as owning READ Preschool and Camp Tuscaloosa.

Born in Hammonton he was a lifelong resident. DeLaurentis was selected to the All State Football team in high school.

He went on to play for the University of Alabama from 1950 to 1954. In 1953 he played in the Cotton Bowl and in 1954 he played in the Orange Bowl.

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)

He was a member of the Bakers Semi Pro Football team. DeLaurentis was a teacher in the Hammonton School District from 1958 to 1993. He was a Past President of the Hammonton Education Association. He coached high school football, baseball, boys basketball and girls basketball.

DeLaurentis and his late wife Marie were the supervisors 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 generation’s, his obituary said.

One of the people who had fond memories of DeLaurentis was Atlantic County Surrogate James Curcio, of Hammonton. He said he attended Camp Tuscaloosa for five years as a camper, from when he was 8 years old until he was 12.

“I went to Camp Tuscaloosa from 1968 to 1972. I did have a lot admiration for him. He clearly loved teaching. The thing that stood out to me was that he allowed the students to pursue such a wide range of interests. My recollection of camp is that he was always bringing in snakes and frogs, which a lot of campers enjoyed, but we all also played sports and games, we put on talent shows. He always let the kids express their individuality, which meant a lot to me as a kid. He also taught me to swim, which was not easy. But he had a lot of patience. All of our kids went to Camp Tuscaloosa with Dina DeLaurentis, and she was just like him, a great teacher as well,” Curcio said.

The late Vincent DeLaurentis played football, baseball and was a member of the 1949-50 HHS boys basketball team. Pictured first row (l-r): R. Piperato, J. Palmer, R. Cramer, N. Guerere. Second row (l-r): A. Mortellite, A. Sacco, J. Abbott, V. DeLaurentis, D. Ross. Last row (l-r): Assist. Mgr. F. DeClement, D. Johnson, J. Rigolizzo, Coach W. Capella, Mgr. D. Crescenzo. (Courtesy Photo)

Former Hammonton Councilman Rick Amos was coached by DeLaurentis in 1976.

“He was a great man and a great coach. I was blessed to be coached by him personally as a sophomore. He was an assistant coach on Coach [Joseph] Cacia’s staff. The summer before my sophomore year, Coach went down to N.C. State and he saw a buckboard for linemen or linebackers to throw hand shivers for hand drills. He saw it and he said. ‘We have to bring that back to Hammonton,’ And the next football season, there it was. That was him,” Amos said.

For DeLaurentis, knowing each player individually was as important as coaching the entire team as a unit, Amos said.

“The one thing I loved about him was, not only was he a coach who commanded respect, but he was the type of man who took the time to get to know his players personally. He wanted to know what made us tick to help us individually and help make us a better team,” Amos said.

Amos said he also saw the personal side of DeLaurentis, including as a husband and father.

“He was funny—he was a funny guy. I was around him more than others because I was in Dina’s class. I got to see him in that capacity as a father to Dina, Vince and Dawn,” Amos said.

DeLaurentis 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.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on August 3, 2021 at St. Joseph Church of St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Parish 226 French St., Hammonton. Burial will follow in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Hammonton.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association PO Box 840692, Dallas, TX 75284-0692.

Arrangements made by the Carnesale Funeral Home.


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