Costello, Chuprinski among Hall inductees
(Editor's Note: The Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame will hold its annual induction ceremonies during a banquet, March 23 at 2 p.m. at the Brady Banquet Hall. This is the first in a series of inductee biographies that will be published daily leading up to the event.)
Wilkes University football experienced one of its' most successful eras during the early 90s and Mount Carmel Area's Jeff Costello was an integral part of that success.
In 1993, along with fellow Mount Carmel Area grads, Bob Delbo and Jake Cole, Costello helped the Colonels to a perfect 10-0 season and a Middle Atlantic Conference championship. The undefeated season was the first since 1968 and only the fifth in Wilkes history.
Coach Joe DeMelfi and the Colonels advanced into the National Division III playoffs. The following season, the Colonels tallied a 9-2 record, winning the Eastern Athletic Conference Southern Division Championship.
As a three-year starter at offensive guard, Costello helped pave the way for the Colonels first 1,000-yard rusher in Jason Smith. To date, three of the Colonels top tenrushing seasons occurred with Costello on the offensive line. He was a three-time Academic All-MAC performer, as well as an Academic All-American. He graduated in 1995 with Magna Cum Laude accolades and a B.S. in biology.
Costello's football career began at MCA for Jazz Diminick. He started at guard as a sophomore, at center as a junior and at center and linebacker as a senior and team co-captain. The 1988 Red Tornadoes went 8-3-1, losing only to AAA state champion Berwick, AA state champion Bethlehem Catholic and Southern Division champion Pottsville. It was the first Mount Carmel Area team to qualify for district play.
The 1989 team lost to eventual state champion Dunmore, 14-12 in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Costello's play earned him the Reading Eagle All-Anthracite Lineman of the Year honor and honorable mention all-state honors. He was the given the Joe Grey Award as MCA's finest lineman, and the Kiwanis Club's Dr. Joseph Greco Scholar Athlete Award.
Costello comes from a long line of Red Tornado stars, with his father Joe and brother Joey, recognized as two of the best linebackers ever to play the position at Mount Carmel Area.
Costello and his wife Kim have three children, Kaedryn, Jack and Jake and make their home in Annville. He is the President of
Costello Realty Inc. and Black Diamond Energy Consultants Inc.
Bob Chuprinski was an outstanding offensive lineman from 1967-1969.
Chuprinski joins 12 other teammates to achieve the Hall of Fame honor. During his time with the Red Tornadoes, the team won 33 games, and lost only twice by a total of 16 points. They won the '68 Southern Division championship, before losing to Blakely 13-0
In 1969, they were the dominant team in Eastern Pennsylvania, going 12-0, winning the Southern Division and defeating Valley View 47-6 to win the first Eastern Conference championship since 1954.
Chuprinski was considered the doorman of the the 1969 offensive line that paved the way for backs Gary Diminick, Henry Hynoski and Carm DeFrancesco to run for 3,849 yards and 63 touchdowns. They averaged 7.29 yards per carry for the season, 320.7 yards per game and scored 504 points - 42 points per game. The 320 yards per game and 42 points per game are the best ever in the Red Tornadoes 120 year history.
Coach Diminick was quoted as saying that Chuprinski was the best blocking tackle he'd ever had at Mount Carmel.
Chuprinski also contributed 48 tackles and three fumble recoveries to a defense that allowed 89 points in 12 games, mostly after the games were essentially over. Following the season, he was named to the Associated Press all-state team and was given honorable mention on the UPI all-state team and Pennsylvania Big 33.
Following graduation, Chuprinski entertained many offers and chose to attend C.W. Post College in New York on a full athletic scholarship.
He played freshman football for Coach Dom Anile and was a team co-captain, decided to transfer to Temple University where he joined former teammate Henry Hynoski. He remained on scholarship from 1972-74, along with future pros Hynoski, Joe Klecko and Nick Mike-Meyer. He graduated in 1975 with a B.S. in sociology. He later received a Masters in Public Administration from Penn State in 1985.
In 1992, Chuprinski moved to Butte, Montana, to pursue a health care administrative position and is currently the CEO of the Flathead Orthopedic Center in Kalispell.
Chuprinski and his wife, the former Diane Marcinek of Shamokin, are the proud parents of two children, Patrick, a sophomore at the University of Montana, and Annie, an incoming freshman at the University of Montana.