Fran Sirianni grew up in Kane, Pa. and was inducted into the Clarion University Sports Hall of Fame, but there’s no doubt where he considers home. A middle-school teacher at Southwestern for 36 years and a coach of football, basketball and track there for an astonishing 45, the Jamestown resident’s heart is firmly connected to the campus on the corner of Hunt Road and Southwestern Drive in West Ellicott.
It’s that love for his school and the school’s love for him, in fact, that brought Southwestern students, alumni, faculty and administrators to the 50-yard line of the football field in May 2015 prior to the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association track & field meet. For nearly 20 minutes, Sirianni’s accomplishments as a coach and teacher were broadcast over the public-address system, photos were taken and a resolution was read from the Southwestern Central School District Board of Education authorizing the name of the district’s athletic complex as the Fran Sirianni Athletic Complex.
It was the culmination of an athletic/coaching career that has spanned a half-century and has earned him a place in the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. Joining Sirianni in the 2018 induction class are Dick Cole, Curt Fischer, Lori Franchina, Sheilah (Lingenfelter) Gulas, the late Jim Riggs, Clem Worosz and Phil Young. They will be formally honored at the CSHOF’s 37th annual banquet on Feb. 19 at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club.
Sirianni’s athletic accomplishments make him a worthy member.
Along the way, he lettered in football, track and basketball at Kane (Pa.) High School (Class of 1965); lettered in football and track at Clarion (Pa.) State College (Class of 1969) where he holds school record for career interceptions and is a member of the school’s athletic Hall of Fame; played professional football for the Orlando Panthers of the Continental League (1969); and served as Southwestern head track coach for 40 years, its head football coach for nine years; and the leader of the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletics chapter for 40 years.
Tickets for the induction dinner are $50. Banquet reservations can be made by calling chairman Chip Johnson at 716-485- 6991.