Brooklyn Boro

It’s no longer the best kept secret in Brooklyn

April 11, 2022 Andy Furman
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She calls it the best-kept secret in Brooklyn.

Not any longer.

Margaret Alaimo has spilled the beans.

She’s telling her story to one and all.

Alaimo is the Director of Athletics and Recreation for St. Joseph’s College — the second female athletic director in SJC Brooklyn history – and the first since Bears Hall of Fame inductee Margaret Ward.

Ward was the college’s first athletic director, and women’s basketball coach from 1951 to 1984.

This St. Joseph’s College is right here in Brooklyn – not the one in Phildelphia.

“We have about eight-to-nine buildings, over three blocks running through Vanderbilt Avenue,” says Alaimo, who has served the Bears athletic program since 2019.  

But her athletic achievements – and background – go much further.

The Marine Park native spent 30 years as a St. Joseph’s neighbor – she was the Deputy Director of Athletic and Senior Women’s Administrator where she handled the day-to-day operations at Division I Long Island University on DeKalb Avenue.

And prior to working as an administrator, she served as head coach of women’s basketball for the then Blackbirds in 1987. 

As a basketball performer, she scored over 1,400 points combined – between Brooklyn’s St. Francis College and the College of New Rochelle. She was inducted in the St. Francis Athletics Hall of Fae in 2002.

But that was then – St. Joseph College is now.

“We’re an urban institution,” the alumna of Stella Maris High School, a Sisters of St. Joseph’s School, said, “we offer no athletic scholarships, our student-athletes excel in the classroom.”

St. Joseph’s competes in the seven-school Division III Skyline Conference – members include Farmingdale State, Sarah Lawrence, Purchase, Mount Saint Mary, Manhattanville and Yeshiva.

“We have no athletic fields,” Alaimo said, “our soccer team plays and practices at Randall’s Island and Aviator Field. We do have indoor facilities for basketball and volleyball.”

Yes, it’s a challenge.

“Many students have part-time jobs, as well as hectic schedules,” she added. “At this level, they play for the love of the game. At a school like LIU, kids have no time for anything but school and their sports.”

Alaimo noted that she’s tried to schedule some local Division I opponents for her teams. “Our women’s basketball team played Wagner and West Point before I got here,” she said. “We’d love to give our athletes that kind of experience.”

The 13 varsity coaches are all part-time, and Alaimo is quick to point out the great environment as well as culture at the school.

“The relationship between faculty to students is something like 12 or 15 to one,” she said, “and we certainly have a small family feel.”

The enrollment at St Joseph’s is under 1,000, Alaimo noted.

The best kept secret may be no more.

The 21-member softball roster includes nine players from California and two from the state of Utah.

Thanks to Margaret Alaimo, perhaps the Bears are no longer a secret.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR.

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