Owen J. Costello

About This Inductee

Owen J. Costello is a graduate of the Masonic Homes and Elizabethtown Area High School. He received his BA in Education from Wilkes College and holds a special post graduate degree in Revenue Development from North Carolina State University. Mr. Costello participated in football and track until his senior year at Elizabethtown Area High School when an unfortunate knee injury ceased his athletic career. Mr. Costello, along with his brother Jack, developed and formed the first junior football program in the Wyoming Valley. Mr. Costello was Head Coach of the Heights Packers for five years, and Coach of the Mayflower Little League for six years. Mr. Costello served as Executive Director of the Wilkes-Bane Parks and Recreation Board from 1974 to 1982. During his tenure, the City Recreation Board became one of the finest in the State and received numerous letters of recommendation and awards. Its vast athletic programs not only developed state champions but several softball teams captured national championships. The special event program developed several outstanding events such as the ever-popular Farmers’ Market and Saint Patrick’s Day Parade which both continue today. At present, Mr. Costello serves as Executive Director of Keystone State Games, Inc., the state’s multifaceted sports festival. Since taking the helm in 1983, the Games have grown from 2,500 participants to 20,000 in 1989 and from 21 to 33 sports. The Games have also expanded to include Winter Games and Senior Games as part of its year-round activity. Held in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton areas from 1987 to 1989, the Summer Games have become a major event in the entire Commonwealth. Mr. Costello also serves as Executive Director of Wilkes-Barre II which is responsible for promoting activity in the downtown area and assisting businesses with promotions. This organization consists of representatives from major business corporations, industry, and financial institutions. Mr. Costello has a professional membership with the Pennsylvania Parks and Recreation Society. He is President of Wilkes University’s Grapplers Club and President of the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board. Mr. Costello has served as Secretary for the National Congress of State Games and is one of its five founding board members. Mr. Costello is married to the former Mary Ann Patichko of Wilkes-Barre. They have two sons, Brian and Jimmy.