Faculty and staff at the United States Sports Academy are preparing to serve as part of the 2019 Crawfish Relay organized by Academy alumnus Anthony D’Onofrio.
D’Onofrio is the director of the graduate athletic administration program at Endicott College in Boston, Mass. He is also the owner and director of the Crawfish Relay, a 200-mile running and cycling relay that begins in New Orleans, La., and ends at the historic Flora-Bama at the Alabama-Florida state line on the Gulf Coast. D’Onofrio earned his Master of Sports Science degree in sports management in 1997.
D’Onofrio has worked in athletics administration, sports management, event organization and marketing since earning his Academy degree.
“The biggest thing that my Academy education did for my career was that it helped me to build my professional network,” D’Onofrio said. “I met so many people at the Academy who I still keep in touch with, and many of those people have helped me find work and have given me professional advice over the years. The contacts I made through the Academy were hugely beneficial to my career.
“Something else that made the Academy special for me was the quality of the faculty. All of my professors were professionals with experience in the sports world. They taught from a position of experience and that was invaluable. There is no question that my Academy master’s degree helped in my career.”
Members of the Academy faculty and staff will participate in D’Onofrio’s Crawfish Relay, which will take place on 3 and 4 May 2019. The Academy will serve as a transition station for riders and runners to take a break, have a snack, and rest after they finish their portion of the relay. The course is approximately 226 miles and follows U.S. Highway 90 East along the American Gulf Coast, passing by beaches and taking back country roads through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the United States.
The Academy participated as a transition station during a previous iteration of the race five years ago.
“I love the location of the Academy,” D’Onofrio said. “Daphne is just such a beautiful area and the people there are so nice. Life there is so much more relaxed than the fast pace of Boston where I live.”