By Joe Pantorno, Sports Editor
Hofstra alum Chris Vaccaro takes you on a trip into the archives in his book, "Hofstra Athletics, Images of Sports," that hit bookshelves in January.
"We opened up the vaults and the archives and got some pictures that haven't really been looked at," said Vaccaro. "We saw things that haven't been talked about in 60-70 years."
Vaccaro's fifth published work creates a pictorial account of every Hofstra athletic team dating as far back as the school's first years.
"I'm extremely proud of this," said Vaccaro. "No one has ever written a book about the history of Hofstra Athletics before... it's a thrill for me."
This was a project that Vaccaro aspired in taking on for years.
"I presented the idea to [former Athletic Director] Jack Hayes and went to the proper channels within the University to get it approved," said Vaccaro. "And that was it."
Before the reader is tantalized with some of the rarest pictures available of the school's athletic program, alum and men's basketball legend Speedy Claxton provides a foreword.
"It was really important because I wanted to make sure it was someone who represented the University well," said Vaccaro. "Speedy is a great ambassador for Hofstra and it meant a lot to me having followed him when I was younger."
It was no simple task to accumulate the type of photographs Vaccaro brought together.
"I had a lot of help from the University. Stephen Gorchov and his staff at the athletic communications were tremendous and provided me with so much help," said Vaccaro. "We also got pictures from the archives and from personal folders."
Vaccaro currently is a digital editor at Topps as well as teaching classes at Hofstra. He graduated from Hofstra in 2007 and was a former Sports Editor for The Hofstra Chronicle.
"It means a great deal for me," said Vaccaro. "It's nice to be able to capture the sports history of such a great university that means so much in my life."
From football stars to the first basketball court in Calkins Hall, his piece provides an informative and interesting look back into the rich history of Hofstra sports.
The book is available for purchase through the Hofstra Athletics site at www.gohofstra.com.