Dr. Don Staffo was one of six new inductees to the Stillman College Athletics Hall of Fame introduced Friday on the school's campus. He joined Oliver Wells, LaShaunda Spurgeon, the late Chris Brown,. Purvis Presha and Bryan Walker.

Fun Fact: Spurgeon was introduced by her former track coach at Stillman. You know him as former Bama football star Pierre Goode. Small world.

Pierre Goode
Pierre Goode
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Back to Staffo: He spent 33 of his 50 working years serving Stillman. In an exclusive interview with Townsquare Media, Staffo explained how he got his foot in the door at Stillman:

"I was working deep in the heart of Appalchia, KY. When my oldest daughter reached school age, we needed to relocate because the public school system was so poor.

"I applied for some jobs and got 17 interviews. Stillman was third on the list. They flew me to Tuscaloosa. They offered me the position [as chairman of Health and Physical Education Dept.].

"I said, 'I can't accept it right now. I've got 14 more interviews to go. I owe it to myself and my family to figure out all the options."

When the dust settled, Staffo took the Stillman job and has lived in Tuscaloosa since then. He was also a 30-year part time writer for the Alabama Associated press, where he and I shared many an Alabama football and basketball press box.

I asked Dr. Staffo what his favorite job was during his long tenure at Stillman. His reply: "The president asked me to be the Athletic Director to start football. I was chair of the Phsy Ed Department and teaching 12 hours a semester.

"Starting football was a humongous task. I was working sometimes 8 a.m. until 11 at night. I taught classes in the morning and did adminstr ative work in the afternoon.

"If there was a basketball game at night I'd stay for that and transmit a story on the old Tandy laptop to the Tuscaloosa News. That was a really challenging time.

"[Starting football in 1999] was very challenging and a lot of fun. We won four games the first season and had a winning season the second season, and set the foundation for a program that was fourth in NCAA Division Three in attendance."

Staffp. 77 is now retired and was an acitive jogger until just three yearsago. He was oftern seen, and envied, by his colleagues jogging around the entire Stillman campus while employed there for those 33 years.

Congrats from Townsquare Media to Staffo and the other Stillman Athletics Haff of Fame inductees, and to the breakfast chef for a great omelet!

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