The Northeast Philadelphia sports scene lost a valued member last week with the death of longtime coach Bob DiFlorio. He was 57.
A teacher at Northeast High School for 10 years, DiFlorio also spent the last two winters as the Vikings’ varsity basketball coach.
DiFlorio apparently drowned. His body was found in the Churchville Reservoir, about 20 yards offshore by Churchville Lane, on Sept. 4. His car was parked nearby on Hidden Cover Drive. According to Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler, foul play is not suspected and no suicide note was left behind. He said toxicology results are pending.
“The post-mortem examination has been performed and has indicated that there were not any traumatic injuries attributed to foul play,” Heckler explained. “There has not been a crime committed.”
DiFlorio had been missing for two to three days when his body was discovered, according to Chris Edwards, Bucks County’s director of public information. Detectives believed that DiFlorio’s car had been parked at its location since Thursday, Sept. 1.
His death held special significance at Northeast High.
“It’s bad for all the teams, the teachers and students. We’re all devastated,” said Chris Riley, the school’s athletic director. “He has five guys returning this season. We got them all counseling so they can talk about it. This is a big loss for Northeast.”
A Philadelphia native who lived in Upper Holland, Bucks County, for 12 years, DiFlorio was a 1972 graduate of St. Joseph Preparatory School and earned an English degree at Temple University in 1976. He also earned a master’s degree in education there.
He was an English teacher in the School District of Philadelphia for more than 25 years. During his coaching career, he also was varsity head coach at the old St. John Neumann High School (now Neumann-Goretti) from 1986 to ’93 and compiled a 101-109 record. He then coached at Conwell-Egan from 1994 to 2001.
DiFlorio spent the next five years calling the shots at Morrisville High School in Bucks County; from 2007 to ’09, he wasl an assistant coach at Father Judge High School.
Two years ago he moved over to the Philadelphia Public League, teaming up with the Northeast High’s varsity basketball team.
ldquo;He’s a good guy and a great coach. He was such a hard worker,” said Riley. “I used to just stop in and watch him practice. He worked hard and was very good on the court.”
Services for DiFlorio were held last Saturday. He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Susan E. Cristinzio DiFlorio; two sons, Christian and Matthew; a brother, Nicholas; and four nieces and five nephews. ••
Editor Melissa Yerkov can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org