John “Dinty” Waleski

About This Inductee

John “Dinty” Waleski, graduated from Avoca High School where he starred as an outstanding football and baseball player. His stellar football performance earned him a football scholarship at St. Thomas College, now the University of Scranton, under the rein of Coach Jack Harding. He played four years of varsity football for the Tom Cats of St. Thomas College from 1931 to 1934. He also played with various semi-pro football teams in the area. A triple-threat performer, he was starting full-back and defensive linebacker for three seasons, although he was a small man by today’s standards, at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds. In his senior year he was named honorable mention to the Little All-American football team and after graduation in 1934 he played one year with the NFL’s New York Giants. In 1971, Waleski was selected to the first edition of Scranton’s Athletic Wall of Fame, which recognizes the University’s great athletes. The Athletic Wall of Fame at the University was pioneered by Director of Athletics, David Ocorr, who felt that great sports figures of university history should justly be recognized. In 1971 the University of Scranton started the Wall of Fame program and three of the first great personalities were selected. The University announced its first three recipients, Dr. Frank O’Hara, Alumni Society Moderator, Faculty Manager, Statistician for both football, and basketball. He served the University for 46 years in a myriad of capacities. Also selected was Jack Harding, one of the most distinguished coaches to toil for the University of Scranton. Harding played for two of the famous football coaches of all times, Pop Warner and the fabled “Jock” Sutherland. It is fitting that one of Coach Jack Harding’s stellar athletes, John “Dinty” Waleski joins the honored circle of the University of Scranton greats. It was under Coach Harding that Waleski learned the theories, techniques and the fundamentals of playing football. He demonstrated this so well at St. Thomas College. John “Dinty” Waleski died on December 25, 1971. He was married to the former Ann Smigelski.