Santo DeSain

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A native of Lyons, NY, Santo DeSain attended Erie Community College (ECC) and played basketball and baseball. He then earned his bachelor of science degree from SUNY Brockport in 1969, before returning to ECC as an instructor, administrator and coach. He later earned his master’s degree from the University at Buffalo.

Santo guided the Kats baseball team to its first National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) region III championship in 1977. In 1980, Santo expanded his portfolio and became the head women’s softball and basketball coach. Santo coached softball from 1980 to 1993.

His softball teams compiled a 404 and 92 record, won two NJCAA national championships, seven NJCAA Region III titles and 12 conference championships. Under his direction, the softball program produced 19 NJCAA All-Americans, 42 NJCAA All-Region III and 39 All-Conference players. Santo was twice named NJCAA National Softball Coach of the Year.

Santo coached women’s basketball from 1977 to 1986. His team won six consecutive Conference Championships while compiling an overall record of 151-41. Santo was honored by being named NJCAA Region III Basketball Coach of the year for the ’80-’81, ’81-’82 and ’82-’83 seasons. During Santo’s coaching tenure, the women’s basketball and softball programs produced numerous student athletes who went on to earn Division I and II scholarships.

Santo was also a classroom instructor at ECC, and enjoyed academic interactions with his students. His educational philosophy was always that “the classroom should be a place for an open and honest exchange of ideas.” Throughout his career, Santo believed that academics and athletics go hand in hand and many of his student athletes achieved Academic All-American status.

The Penn-York Conference Championship trophy was named in his honor (1994), and the softball field at Erie Community College was named the Santo DeSain Softball Field (2008).

Santo has been inducted into the Western New York Softball Hall of Fame (1993), the NJCAA National Coaches Hall of Fame (1999), the Erie Community College Hall of Fame (2008), and the Lyons School District Hall of Fame (2017). In 2012, two of his national championship teams were also inducted into the Erie Community College Hall of Fame.