2017 CYO Hall of Fame Inductee
Dr. Jerome Antonino
Jerome Antonino (known to everyone as Dr. Jerry) has been involved with CYO Soccer for over 40 years. Jerry started playing soccer for Holy Child Jesus in Richmond Hill during the 1970s, and when he arrived at Archbishop Molloy High School, Jerry and some other CYO alumni convinced the school to start its soccer program, which has become one of the most successful programs in the city. Jerry is very proud to have been a member of Molloy’s inaugural soccer team in the late 1970s. After graduation, Jerry played soccer for New York University, completed his studies in Chiropractic Medicine, and married his high school sweetheart Jeannie. In the early 1990s, Jerry, Jeannie and their growing family moved to Howard Beach and Jerry was instrumental in bringing soccer to Our Lady of Grace in 1993.
Jerry was a catalyst for the introduction of the CYO pre-game prayer, ensuring that players, coaches and families promote Christian values, Church, Family and Community. Jerry established the Our Lady of Grace motto - “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me - Philippians 4:13” - as a way to remind all players that they can do anything, if they keep Christ in their hearts. Jerry has also been a mentor to coaches - establishing a requirement that all coaches must be CPR certified, inspiring the creation of an annual Winter Indoor Soccer Tournament sponsored by Our Lady of Grace, and urging more involvement in parish and community activities.
Over the last 24 years, Jerry has served as the Founder, Athletic Director, Coach, Mentor and Friend to hundreds of Our Lady of Grace players and families, while providing an atmosphere of faith-based participation in sport for the entire Diocese of Brooklyn. All 8 of the Antonino children - Christopher, Nicholas, Gabriella, Victoria, Joseph, Michael, Domenic & Gianna - have been part of the OLG Soccer family. Some still play and many of the older Antonino children come back to help with the program training players or refereeing at our Indoor Soccer Tournament.
Jerry has been honored as the Italian-American Businessman of the Year by the International Society of Ss. Cosma & Damiano for his contributions to the Howard Beach community. Jerry has received multiple proclamations from various local politicians for his undying commitment to the community, and his dedication to children throughout Howard Beach and Ozone Park.
With Jerry’s leadership, the entire Our Lady of Grace Soccer program participates in other community affairs such as the annual “JDRF Walk for a Cure” walk in Howard Beach to find a cure for Type-1 diabetes and marching in the annual Memorial Day parade to honor our military. Jerry started a Sunday morning “Coffee & Bagels” program, where Our Lady of Grace Soccer players serve the Our Lady of Grace parishioners a nice breakfast after Sunday Mass.