Vito Chiaravalloti stepping down as CBA Athletic Director
Vito Chiaravalloti will be resigning from his positions of athletic director and head swimming coach at Christian Brothers Academy effective July 31, the school announced in a press release Monday evening.
Chiaravalloti, a 1999 CBA graduate, has been the Colts' AD for the past six years and a faculty member and head swimming coach since 2008. He was promoted to AD in 2014 after longtime Director of Athletics John Przygocki retired.
“Words alone cannot express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity I have been blessed with working at CBA these past twelve years,” Chiaravalloti said in the release. “To be surrounded by the finest students and educators this world has to offer has been a privilege that I appreciated each day I set foot on campus.”
NJ Advanced Media's Rich Greco reported in a post on Twitter that Chiaravalloti will be taking a position with medical supply company Stryker, although Chiaravalloti said he could not confirm that as his next move and that post has since been deleted. He did acknowledge he was extended an offer to work outside of education in the corporate world and thought it was best for his family to jump at the opportunity.
"Although I can't predict the future, I feel like I'll always have the mindset of an educator because that's the world I have been a part of since I came back to coach (swimming) and teach at CBA," Chiaravalloti said. "I'm not sure I'll be a high school coach again, but there will always be a part of me that is looking for that opportunity to be a teacher and a coach. Even if it's just coaching my daughter's team, I think that's something I'll find my way back to at some point because it's such an important part of who I am."
CBA, which is located in the Lincroft section of Middletown, has long been one of the top athletic schools in the state and that continued and even improved under Chiaravalloti. The Colts won the NJSIAA/Shoprite Cup for Non-Public A schools during the abridged 2019-2020 academic year, making it six straight seasons under Chiaravalloti that the Colts were named the top non-public athletic program in New Jersey. The Shoprite Cup is a points-based system that factors points earned during state championship competition. One is awarded for every group (Public groups 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and non-public groups A and B).
CBA won 35 state championships over the past six seasons with titles coming in baseball, crew, cross country, golf, ice hockey, indoor and outdoor track and field, rugby, sailing, soccer and swimming.
As the head coach for CBA's swimming team, the Colts won 10 Non-Public A state titles, including seven in a row from 2010 to 2016 and three consecutive state crowns from 2018 to 2020. CBA won the Monmouth County and Shore Conference championships in all 12 of Chiaravalloti's seasons as head coach.
As athletic director, Chiaravalloti's forward-thinking approach led to the 2015 launch of LetsGoColts.com, which is the internet home of CBA athletics and gave the school a greater digital presence. He also helped launch the CBA Digital Network, which is an in-house broadcasting group that live-streamed over 20 games per year.
"I think I'm most proud of what we were able to do on the digital side and with social media," Chiaravalloti said. "Social media was big when we started about five years ago but nothing like it is now. I'm proud that we got out ahead of it and now we have an app just for CBA sports, we broadcast our games and we give our athletes and our students a platform to showcase their abilities to the community and other alumni.
"Whenever I talk to alumni from around the country, one of the first things they bring up is how much they love being able to watch a basketball game or follow one of our teams on Twitter. It keeps the alumni connected with our current students and that is what we want to be about."
During Chiaravalloti's tenure as athletic director, CBA replaced several of its legendary coaches and Chiaravalloti made a number of noteworthy hires. Soccer coach Dan Keane and cross country coach Tom Heath both ended their decorated careers leading their respective programs since 2014 and neither program has missed a beat. Under new coach Tom Mulligan, the soccer program won NJSIAA Non-Public A championships in 2016 and 2018, went to the championship game in 2017 and won a Shore Conference Tournament title in 2016. CBA cross country, meanwhile, has remained one of the top programs in the country under former Colt standout Sean McCafferty - winning Non-Public A team titles in each of his first four seasons.
Chiaravalloti also made impact hires in wrestling and tennis, hiring Rutgers assistant Billy Ashnault to lead the wrestling program and Courter Smith to take over on the tennis court.
Changing baseball coaches was a more tumultuous task and one that hit a little closer to home for Chiaravalloti, who was a star player for 47-year head coach Marty Kenney. After the 2019 season, Chiaravalloti decided not to rehire his former coach and filled the open spot with Kenney's son, Marty Jr., who has yet to coach a game as the head coach due to the cancellation of the 2020 spring season.
"We were blessed for so long with good, consistent coaches," Chiaravalloti said. "Ask any athletic director, and they will tell you the hardest part of the job that is getting even harder is finding high-quality coaches to hire. It's not that they aren't out there; it's just that it's hard sometimes to find a good coach who can be on your campus and ready by 3 in the afternoon.
"As travel programs expand and parents raise their expectations for what they expect from coaches who work with their kids, it becomes harder and harder to do at the high-school level. We have been very lucky to have some really good coaches in our building and I am really proud that we have been able to fill those jobs with the best possible people."
Beyond his role at CBA, Chiaravalloti was also a member of several state and conference committees, including the recently-formed NJSIAA COVID-19 Sports Advisory Task Force, which he said he plans to remain involved with for at least the remainder of his tenure as athletic director and possibly longer, if he is asked to do so. He was also a member of the NJSIAA Swimming Sports Committee. Within the Shore Conference, Chiaravalloti was a member of the Shore Conference Executive Committee, among other posts held.
“I would like to thank Mr. Chiaravalloti for his years of committed service to not only CBA Athletics, but to the entire institution,” Principal Ross Fales said in the release. “His vision of athletics as an extension of the educational process and mission of the school has helped our students grow into better, more complete young men.”
“Mr. Chiaravalloti’s understanding of the mental, social and emotional aspects of student-athletes facilitated a positive and inclusive environment, while also maintaining the winning tradition of CBA Athletics,” Fales continued. “His leadership has fostered innovation and the development of CBA Athletics into a true 21st-century program.”
“I cannot thank the CBA community enough, especially the students, for embracing me, challenging me, and inspiring me every day to be my absolute best,” Chiaravalloti said. “I will carry the countless memories we have made together with me for the rest of my life, and I look forward to witnessing the continued success of the Academy as it heads into the future.”
Prior to returning to CBA, Chiaravalloti was a professional baseball player for seven seasons. Coming out of the University of Richmond, he was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 15th round of the 2003 MLB Draft. He played four seasons with the Blue Jays' minor league affiliates, one season in the minors with the Baltimore Orioles and three more in the Atlantic League with the Somerset Patriots and the Camden Riversharks.
During his collegiate baseball career, Chiaravalloti was team captain (2002, 2003); two-time All-American (2002, 2003); four-time All-Conference; three-time All-Region; and a member of the All-Academic Team (2003). Chiaravalloti helped the University of Richmond Spiders earn their highest-ever national ranking (No. 6 in 2002).
At CBA, he was a varsity letter winner in baseball with accolades including: team captain (1999); All-State (1997, 1999), All-Shore (1997-1999), Carpenter Cup Selection (1997-1999); Baseball Factory All-American (1999); CBA career record-holder for doubles (31) and slugging (.862). Also a four-year swimming and was the team captain (1999); two-time All-American (1998, 1999); YMCA National Champion (1999: 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle relay); NJ State Champion (1999: 100 backstroke, 100 freestyle); NJ State Swimmer of the Year (1999), and won 14 Shore Conference individual/relay titles. He helped the Colts earn their first-ever state title in 1998.
In the release, Fales said the school has begun an internal search for the school's new athletic director.
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