In 1978, Brian Angelichio was a kindergartner at Barringer Road Elementary School. Today, he is the tight ends coach for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. How does a kid from Ilion wind up on football’s biggest stage?
“Set goals, dream big, and chase your dreams,” he told students during his visit on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Angelichio was in town visiting his family following the end of his team’s exit from the playoffs. It had been a good season. The Packers ended with a 10-6 regular season record, then beat the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. Their Super Bowl dream ended with a loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 22. He heads back to Green Bay this weekend to prepare for next season.
Despite this year’s disappointing end, Angelichio is thrilled to have the chance to coach professional sports.
Getting this far was hard work. After graduating from Ilion in 1995, he went on to play football and baseball at Division III St. Lawrence University.
“I always wanted to play professional sports, but I knew my playing career would stop there,” he said.
Instead of quitting, he continued working hard. He went on to get his Masters before landing a coaching position at SUNY Brockport. Over his 23 years as a coach, he spent time at the University of Pittsburgh, Ithaca College, Rutgers, and the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns. The Packers picked him up because of his ability to get the very best out of the players he coached.
The best part is he is doing something he loves.
“This is the best job in the world; it’s not work,” he said.
His life is a positive example of possibilities. He credits his Ilion roots with giving him a foundation for success. Growing up in the Valley shaped him for the future. His family and teachers played a big part. Some of his best friends are still in the area.
Angelichio encouraged students to do their best. He also said they should use the resources they have, especially education. Education is the most important thing that you have control over, he explained.
“The better your report card, the more opportunities you have,” he said.
He told the students that the Packers have a saying, “Today is a big day!”
“Every day is a chance to get better,” he said.
Hard work needs to be matched with enthusiasm, he said.
The students were thrilled to learn that someone from their community went on to live his dreams. Like Angelichio, the sky is the limit for our Thunder.
Angelichio will be inducted as one of eight honorees in the inaugural class of the Central Valley Hall of Fame on March 11.