The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

April 3, 2014

AAABA League names commish

JOHNSTOWN — Tony Crisafulli has been named commissioner of the local AAABA League and will replace the late Denny Altimore.

Crisafulli had served as one of Altimore’s league vice presidents since 2010 with Myron Markovitz, who will remain a VP.

“Denny Altimore is going to be a tough act to follow,” Crisafulli said. “He brought me into this situation a couple years ago. Denny, Myron and myself, we worked well together and did as good a job as we could. We managed to get the league up to six teams.

“All I’m looking to do is continue what Denny started,” he added. “I’m going to do the best I can and hopefully with the help of some other folks we’re going to continue to improve the league and hopefully get stronger.”

Crisafulli said the Johnstown and Altoona AAABA Leagues will continue to have interleague play this season, and he hopes the system remains intact into the future.

“We’re going to try to continue our relationship with the Altoona League and our interleague games,” he said. “We have a full slate scheduled this year. Continuing in the future will depend on the size of the leagues and number of teams in both leagues.”

AAABA League franchise owners and managers met and decided Crisafulli was a logical replacement for Altimore, who died Feb. 4.

The appointment became official after City of Johnstown Manager Kristen Denne approved the decision.

“This is really great for the league to have Tony in the dual role that he is in,” said George Arcurio III, president of the Johnstown Oldtimers Association and also president of the AAABA national board. “Tony’s being a member of the Johnstown Oldtimers Board of Directors really works out well for us because of his ability to work with the league at the same time.

“The working relationship is very good. Also, with the background of his being a member of the Pennsylvania Volleyball Hall of Fame, this is another example of his commitment to being involved in the community.”

Crisafulli, 48, has been involved in the Johnstown Oldtimers and the AAABA Tournament for decades. He’s also one of the region’s most successful scholastic girls’ volleyball coaches at North Star, where he will enter his 25th season.

Crisafulli was named 2009 Mideast Sectional coach of the year by National Federation of State High School Coaches Association, and the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association inducted him into its Hall of Fame Class of 2013.

Crisafulli also briefly served as assistant GM to the Johnstown Steal under the original leadership in the Frontier League.

Mike Mastovich is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/masty81.

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