Since arriving in the United States in 1967 Antonio ‘Nino’ Garofollo has actively promoted and supported soccer at many levels. And he’s done a great job promoting the sport he loves.
In 1990, he was nominated by the COMITES (Committee of Italians in Estero) to the Sports and Culture Commission. More honors came his way in 2003 when he was honored at a dinner for the Premio Calabresi in America alongside Gov. Pataki of New York, New Jersey Soccer Hall of Famer Charlie Stillitano and several other prominent natives of Calabria.
Recently, Nino became a foundation member of the InterMilan Soccer Club of New Jersey.
Nino is the third of six children his parents raised in the small town of Pellegrina di Bagnara in Reggio Calabria, Italy. From 1959-63 he used his skill as a mater carpenter in Germany where he was a supervisor in the Singer Sewing Machine Co. Several years later he immigrated to the U.S. And became a member of the Carpenters Union 15 of Bergen County. He would form his own company in 1974 under the nickname he had acquired due to his extensive skills, “Mastro Nino, Inc.”
Nino has been active since he came to the United States, not only in the soccer community, but in the Italian community as well. He was a member and part of the active administration of the Bagnarese Soccer and Social Club from 1969 until the team ceased to exist in the early 1990s. Simultaneously, he was a member of the St. Rocco Society of Fort Lee and the Pellegrina-Ceremida MAS, which he served as president for three years. In 1980, Nino became a foundation member of the Calabria National Forum, and the club’s president in 1987. He is currently a member of St. Rocco and the Maria SS.di Corsignano Giovinazzo Society.
In 2009, as president of the event, he arranged to bring and antique Icon “Madonna Maria SS.Annunziata” from Italy in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the society’s founding.
He is fortunate that his wife, Carol, to whom he’s been married for 30 years, understands his passion for the beautiful game. Nino did warn her prior to their marriage that “soccer comes first.” They have two children – Christopher, and attorney, and Stephanie, who work in the insurance business. The Garofollo’s have four grandchildren.
Nino’s soccer resume is an impressive one. In 1968 he was a foundation member of the Bagnarese Soccer Club of Cliffside Park. From 1969-1979 he was assistant team manager and VP of Bagnarese Soccer Club. From 1980-1965 he served as VP and Secretary of Lazio USA that played in New Jersey Soccer’s Semi-Pro Division. From 1995-1998 he was assistant coach and administrative staff member of Cliffside Park Raiders. And from 2005 to present he has been assistant to the coach of Real Wyckoff’s soccer teams.