The first game of a new season can be a nervous time for football players, coaches and even fans. As the Tilton School
Rams took to the field for warm ups on Friday, September 22, 2017, 2it was not only the first game of a fresh year, but the first game for new Head Coach Vinny Giambrocco. Tilton vs. Cushing Academy; bright lights, fresh turf, a new season. Up in the press box, getting ready for what would be his second time behind the microphone at a Tilton School football game, one man wasn’t nervous at all. This was his sweet spot—announcing a game, rattling off players’ names and plays as quickly as they happen with a professional ease. This comes from not only years of practice, but his deep love for Tilton School. For John Discepolo ’90, giving back to Tilton is as natural as calling a touchdown. He does both with passion and commitment.
“I’ve been involved with broadcasting games all over the country, but I never have as much fun as when I come back to Tilton,” Discepolo said. “There is just something about that campus that is so special to me.”
Even when he’s not donating his time as an announcer or visiting with students and faculty, Discepolo’s excitement for Tilton is unparalleled. The passion with which he speaks about his alma mater would make anyone want to be a part of the community that Tilton offers to this day. Before John came to Tilton School
as a junior in 1988, he was an average student by his own admission. By the end of his first semester he was eighth in his class. “I wasn’t stupid, but just lazy,” Discepolo remembers.
Tilton allowed John to come out of his shell and try things he would not have experienced before. He had never tried acting or football, but ended up going to college for just that. His senior year he was an Evergreen All-Star. During his freshman year at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., he was a Division 3 All- Star. By his sophomore year he was the Division 3 First Team All New England. John looks back on his life and asks, “How did I get here, how did I get this?” His answer used to be that all roads lead to Tilton. Now his belief is that all roads lead from Tilton. This is because his time on the Hill gave John such a solid base from which to formulate his life. The positive figures at Tilton School had a massive impact on John. Most notable would be Ken Hollingsworth, head coach of Tilton School’s varsity football team while John was at Tilton School.
“He is just such a great man; knowledgeable, supportive, and extremely motivating. He was my dorm head, football coach, and English teacher—a father figure if you will—who had a profound impact on my time here at Tilton,” Discepolo said.
After graduation, John went on to Assumption College from 1990 to 1992, before transferring to Hofstra University, where he graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts. Initially, John was a radio disc jockey in college. Being a DJ also allowed him to do sports radio, and that transitioned into television sports. His focus was sports for the first 15 years of his career. After college, John got his first start at AC-TV in Arlington, Mass., before moving onto News 12 Westchester in Yonkers, N.Y. He spent just under two years at News 12 before going to Albany, N.Y., covering Division 1 college hockey and high school athletics at WRGB Channel 6, He then moved to Texas to be the weekend anchor at KDFW-Fox 4 in Dallas, Texas. During his time in the Lone Star State, John traveled extensively with the Dallas Cowboys and served as the pre-game host for the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars, while also covering high school football and NASCAR Racing. After almost three years in Dallas, John was given the chance to return to his roots in New York when he was hired as the main sports anchor at WNYW-Fox 5 in New York City, where he also served as sideline reporter for the New York Jets and New York Giants.