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Shore Park and Parkway

Rudy Piccirillo Coaches Field

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This popular field, within Shore Road Park near 95th Street in southwest Brooklyn, is named in memory of Rudy Piccirillo (1932-1980), founder of the Knute Rockne Football Association and legendary coach to generations of local kids from the surrounding neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights in southwest Brooklyn.

Rudy Piccirillo began coaching in 1961 at the age of twenty-nine years as a way to help children focus their time and energy in positive ways. As part of that effort, he founded the Knute Rockne Football Association, named after the legendary Norwegian-born, Notre Dame University football coach Knute Rockne (1888-1931). For thirty-five years Piccirillo motivated young players to become accomplished adults, in their game and in their lives.

Under Piccirillo’s leadership, and that of succeeding coaches inspired by him, the association managed fourteen teams, each with rosters of thirty-five young men ranging in age from five to eighteen years. The association created a forum where players and coaches attended numerous lectures and inspirational speeches, helping young men to become successful community members, businessmen, fathers, and leaders.

Rudy Piccirillo is remembered here for the grit and determination that he instilled in the many players he coached on this field.

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