David B. Caldwell Jr.
Just before his final game as a football player at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, Dave Caldwell
received a surprise letter of thanks and encouragement from Ken Parady, the father of his head coach, Jim
Parady. Mr. Parady, who also helped coach the Marist Red Foxes, had some very high praise for Caldwell,
covering both his athletic and personal attributes.
“You have that rare quality that a lot of athletes lack and that is that you to continue to strive to be very
best you can be in every single outing. This will carry over into life, as in making difficult decisions and facing
adversity. You are a very coachable young man who handles success and defeat equally as well. This asset will also be a big part of your future life, like being a good father, husband, and success in life in general.”
Caldwell played four years at Marist mostly as a defensive stalwart. He was also the team punter all four
years, a skill he developed at Rome Free Academy. At RFA, Caldwell was both a defensive and offensive
starter and team captain his senior year. He was also voted the Black Knight’s MVP his senior year and was
picked for the All-Upstate third team as a linebacker.
Born in Rome in 1971, he remained in Rome until his 1990 graduation, playing all the sports the city
had to offer along the way, except, interestingly, youth football. He was a Little League, Pony League, and Colt League all-star, a member of the Moose Club travel team, and was picked for the Fran Allison travel team. He played both baseball and basketball as a high school freshman and continued as a starter through the JV and varsity levels.
During his summers in Rome, Caldwell worked for the city recreation department and began to realize
that he really enjoyed working with youngsters. He was also a Special Olympics volunteer and that motivated him to become a special education teacher. He has been a special education teacher and high school coach for nearly 25 years.
Caldwell is currently employed with the Hopewell Valley School District in New Jersey, which
reinstated the football program again in 2004 after a 70-year hiatus. Caldwell became their first and only coach since 1932. By 2013 Caldwell, who was hired on a five-year trial basis, led his varsity team to a state
championship. Caldwell continues to teach and coach in New Jersey. The Rome Sports Hall of Fame and
Museum honors you for living a life of excellence.