JOE DONIGAN


CLASS OF '81


YEAR OF INDUCTION: 2019



Joe's dad, the late Mr. Patrick Donigan, knew that some of the best education and entertainment in town could be found at the soccer field. Especially any fields used by the Steinert soccer teams circa the 1970s.

"I'll never ever forget the numerous days as a kid when my dad would take me to the Steinert games in the (late 1960s and) '70s to watch great players such as Bobby Smith, Terry Smith, Kevin Welsh, Art Napolitano, George Caruso, Jim McKeown, Gary McElroy, Joe Fink, Tom Fink, Jack Blair and Jim and John Bowen, just to name a few. There are so many more great players Iíve watched and played with over the years. Never did I imagine in my wildest dreams that I would be honored one day in the Steinert Athletic Hall of Fame with guys that I idolized as a kid and a player. Steinert soccer is a tradition and I'm honored to have played an integral part in it."

Joe was a three-year starter who earned five varsity letters including two in basketball at SHS. He received all-county and all-state recognition in soccer as a junior and a senior (team captain).

His days as a Spartan made a big impact on him.

"I learned discipline, self-motivation, being a good teammate, positive attitude, leadership, displaying good sportsmanship and most of all respect for not only my own teammates and coaches, but toward my opponents, coaches, officials and parents," Joe said. "These positive sports traits that I learned through my coaches at Steinert have followed through my adult life. I have also stressed the importance and taught these qualities to all of the players I've coached over the years as well.

"My most memorable times at Steinert were undoubtedly the great times and experiences playing soccer with some of greatest players in Steinert soccer history. I was very fortunate to play with eight Hall of Famers in Dan DíAngelo, Ed Gauss, G.A. Reid, Rob Colton, Ed Liebe, Scott Grzenda, my older brother Patrick and my younger brother Mike. I will always cherish the memories and friendships established playing with my brothers Patrick and Mike as well as fellow athletes such as John Fink, Rob Colton, Kevin Gardiner, Steve Destefano, Albert Mostrangeli and Kenny Edwards, just to name a few."

Soccer remains a part of his life through his roles as coach, referee and trainer of local youth soccer players and he also manages the Bob Smith Soccer Academy.

A manager at Princeton University for more than 30 years, Donigan lives in Lawrenceville with his wife Nancy, son Joey and daughter Keely.


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