Alan A. Malizia - July 2012
Alan attended Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport, Connecticut and earned a B.A. in mathematics and a M.A. in education. His professional experience included corporate positions with companies such as Walden Books and then he shifted gears to teaching, his true passion.
Alan taught at Our Lady of Fatima in Wilton, Connecticut and then at Stamford Catholic High School in Stamford, Connecticut where he ultimately became renowned coach for the girls volleyball team. Under Alan, the team earned 4 state championship titles, one county title and numerous city and division titles as well. Many of Alanâ€™s players earned athletic scholarships. Alan earned Connecticut Coach of the Year in 1988 and was selected for the Connecticut volleyball hall of fame in 2007. Alan wrote 2 self-published books: "The Little Red Chair," an autobiography about his life experience with polio and "A View From The Quiet Corner," a selection of his poems and reflections. Alan received book awards from the USA Book News National in 2009 and was the International Book Award finalist in poetry for the inspirational category and winner in the religious category in 2010.Â
"I am a 62 year old retired teacher and athletics coach. At the age of four I contracted polio. After a lengthy recovery I was able to walk using crutches and braces. I attended school, full time, in the second grade. My interest in the space program led me to a degree in mathematics and a position as a systems analyst with an engineering firm after graduation. In time, I realized my dream profession was anything but that. During this period I was coaching recreational girls basketball. I found more fulfillment here than in any other endeavor I had pursued. This led to a change in direction, resulting in a change of careers and a masters degree in education. I became a secondary school mathematics teacher and high school athletics coach. High school girls volleyball was my most prominent sport. During a twenty two year coaching career our program had produced, 4 class-S state championships, a county championship, and a number of division and city titles. In 1985 we had the rarest of seasons; a perfect 25-0 record. A good number of my players would go on to play in college under scholarship. In 1988 I was named the Connecticut High School Girls Volleyball Coach of the Year, and in 2007 was inducted into the Connecticut Woman's Volleyball Hall of Fame. In 2012, one of my former players would follow me. All was made possible by all who had a part in the program, from players to assistants coaches, athletic director , and administrators.
Â In 2000 I would retire from it all due to the effects of post polio syndrome. At the request of my mother, before her passing, I would write the story of my life experience with polio, â€œThe Little Red Chair.â€? This experience, besides being cathartic, would also open a new door of interest and possibility through writing. My second book, â€œA View From The Quiet Corner,â€? is a selection of poems and reflections. Since the publishing of these books, I have written a piece on Religious Freedom, published in my diocesan monthly paper, and of course, have been honored to become a co-author for â€œContagious Optimism.â€?
Â Some may say, I was dealt a bad hand in life. However, the most important thing is to stay in the game and play the hand out. You'll never know what would result, if you quit. I'm a very fortunate person. I was blessed with parents and a family that my trials required. And polio has brought into my life, so many wonderful experiences and people I otherwise would not have known. My grateful thanks to all and a benevolent God, who blessed me with the gifts I have, and the opportunity to use them. And hopefully, my efforts give Him pleasure." Â