The city of Derby honored legendary football coach Lou DeFilippo on Saturday, September 13, 1997 by naming the football field within the Leo F. Ryan Sports Complex as the "Lou DeFilippo Football Field." Lou compiled an incredible 116-30-8 record at the smallest football playing school in the state of Connecticut during the course of his illustrious 15 year tenure in Derby. His teams were undefeated five times during that period ('68. '69, '72, '73, & '75) and finished as Connecticut's top ranked team twice ('69 & '72). This larger-than-life figure who had such a positive impact on the lives of his students and players passed away on March 5, 2000.
However, many people did not know that long before he arrived in Derby, DeFillippo had already established quite a record! A graduate of Fordham University where he captained Fordham's 1941 Cotton Bowl Team and was one of the MVPs in the game, DeFilippo went on to be the 47th player drafted by the NFL in the 1941 draft. He played with the New York Giants from 1945 through 1947. His other coaching assignments included assistant positions with Purdue, Fordham and Columbia as well as the Baltimore Colts. He was the head coach at East Meadow High School on Long Island from 1961 to 1968 and in seven years compile a 46-9-1 record winning five straight league championships from 1963-1967 and a Long Island championship in 1964.
DeFilippo also found time to coach lacrosse at East Meadow and later as the freshman coach at Yale University.
Lou was honored many times over with a variety of "Coach of the Year Awards" including those presented by the Long Island press, National Football Foundation, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and the Connecticut Sports Writers. He is a member of Fordham University's Athletic Hall of Fame as well as the Connecticut Coaches Hall of Fame.
Lou DeFilippo Field is part of the Derby's Leo F. Ryan Sports Complex which is named after another legendary Derby coach, Leo F. "Nuggy" Ryan who was a three sport coach at Derby winning state titles in both football and basketball.