Don Colpoys

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Baseball Coach & Administrator

Don Colpoys is so much more than just a former baseball player, coach and administrator. Even though his induction into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame is based on his numerous accomplishments on and around the diamond, it’s the impact he has made on the lives of countless boys and young men that sets him apart from many of the other baseball experts in Western New York.

Don’s baseball career spans more than 60 years. From his days as a First Team All-Catholic selection at Bishop Timon in the early 1950’s, through his involvement in local amateur baseball to his time as a player and administrator at the professional level, there is always one place you are sure to find Don Colpoys – standing behind the backstop chatting baseball with anyone who will listen.

Though it’s difficult to identify a time and place when Don became the focal point of local amateur baseball, one can look to his 14 year involvement with the Simon Pures that really thrust him into the limelight. Coming off an injury-shortened minor league career in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, Don played and coached for the Simon Pures from 1957-70. He was 46-0 in his first year as manager and his first four teams posted an incredible 168-16 record including 63 consecutive wins.

Later on, he took the AAABA Al Maroone team to the national tournament three times in six years. Following was a stint as a scout for the Philadelphia Phillies and the manager’s job with Niagara Falls in the New York Penn League. In 1977 he commenced a 26 year career coaching the Canisius College Golden Griffins where he won a school record 325 games, earned Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors once and took the Griffs to a pair of post-season tournaments.

During the early years of leading Canisius on the diamond, he also found time to convince Mayor Jimmy Griffin to secure a AA franchise in the Eastern League and he served as the team’s General Manager from 1979-84. During that time, he approached Bob Rich about purchasing the team that has become the Buffalo Bisons AAA franchise.

Since his retirement from Canisius, Don has found numerous ways to stay involved with the game he loves. He assisted an amateur team in Hamilton that just happened to include current Cincinnati Reds slugger Joey Votto on its roster. He has also assisted several amateur and high school teams in the area. In fact, if you pay a visit to a diamond near you, Don may be out there behind the backstop instructing a group of young men about the many nuances of not only hitting a baseball, but about hitting a home run in life, as well.