Northeast High basketball coach drowns

“It’s bad for all the teams, the teach­ers and stu­dents. We’re all dev­ast­ated. This is a big loss for North­east.” —NEHS ath­let­ic dir­ect­or Chris Ri­ley


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 my­

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