Rockland County Sports Hall Of Fame Is The Next Stop For Diffley

John Diffley, Senior Associate Athletics Director of Administration, is finishing his 9th season at St. John's.

April 12, 2012

QUEENS, N.Y.-- While there are many people in the St. John's Department of Athletics who have had illustrious playing careers on the collegiate and professional levels, few have left on-field legacies quite similar to that of John Diffley, Senior Associate Athletics Director of Administration at St. John's.

High school All-American, collegiate captain and member of the U.S. National Soccer Team are just a few of the accolades that Diffley has earned in his illustrious career on the pitch, but the next will be an induction into the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday, April 29.

"It's a very nice honor," said Diffley. "I've been fortunate enough to play for some good coaches at great schools and play with some very good players so this is a testament to them as well."

Diffley made an immediate impact as a freshman for the Albertus Magnus High School men's soccer team in 1981, where he was part of the squad that won the Section 9 Class B championship. In his senior season, Diffley scored a school-record 23 goals en route to his being selected as a Parade High School All-American and an All-New York State first team selection.

"John's advanced skills and mastery of all aspects of the game was unparalleled in the scholastic ranks," said Diffley's coach at Albertus Magnus, Bob Walkley. "His impressive résumé should speak for itself."

Diffley went on to American University where he became a two-year captain and the school record-holder in assists. As a freshman, Diffley helped lead American to the 1985 national championship game against the UCLA Bruins where the Eagles lost 1-0 in eight overtimes, the longest game in NCAA men's soccer history. Along with being a first team All-Colonial Athletic Association honoree and an all-region performer, Diffley was named Male Athlete of the Year his senior season and was inducted into American University's Hall of Fame in 2006.

After his senior season, Diffley competed and played with some of the best players in the world as a member of the U.S. National Team. After making 27 appearances with the squad, Diffley was chosen as one of four alternates, and the only defenseman, for the U.S. Olympic soccer team at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. 

"It was a great opportunity and a great experience," said Diffley. "I played with some great players and I was just really fortunate to be in the mix."

The professional level was the next stop for Diffley. He was the 27th player chosen overall in the inaugural Major League Soccer draft and went on to play for the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the Kansas City Wizards. Diffley later played professionally in Holland and in the United States Indoor Soccer League where was an All-Star in 1994 and part of the USISL champion Long Island Rough Riders in 1995.

After a head coaching stint with Dominican College in Orangeburg, N.Y., Diffley became an assistant coach at St. John's under Dr. Dave Masur in 1997. Diffley's recruiting and coaching was essential in the Red Storm's four consecutive Round of 16 appearances in the NCAA Tournament and two BIG EAST Tournament titles. 

Currently, Diffley serves as Senior Associate Athletics Director of Administration at St. John's, a position that he has held since 2004. Diffley serves as a key liaison for all head coaches and oversees facilities, sports medicine, strength and conditioning and equipment operations while also being the sport administrator for men's and women's soccer, lacrosse, cross country, track and field and fencing.  

While his list of accomplishments both on the pitch and in athletics administration is long and significant, Diffley is focused on the task at hand and is thankful for all of the chances that he has been given. 

"I've always enjoyed college athletics and I still love being a part of it," said Diffley. "St. John's is a great school with great people and I'm happy to work with some great coaches and student-athletes."


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