Stonehill College senior defensive lineman Nick Chiocco has been named to the 2015 Allstate, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team®, the most esteemed off-the-field honor in college football. The 22 student-athletes selected for this honor have made a positive impact on others and their communities.
Chiocco, the first Stonehill football student-athlete named to the Good Works Team®, is one of 11 out of the 22 honorees recognized from NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, Division III and NAIA out of a record 197 nominees from across all levels of college football. He was the lone Northeast-10 Conference student-athlete nominated and one of just three NCAA Division II student-athletes to earn a spot on the Good Works Team®.
“I am extremely honored to have been selected to the 2015 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team,” said Chiocco. “When I was first nominated by Coach (Robert) Talley, I did not know exactly what this award entailed, but after doing some research and seeing the details of this prestigious award, I could not believe what I had just been nominated for. Now after officially being named to this team, I am truly humbled.”
Chiocco is now eligible to be voted by fans as the 2015 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Captain at ESPN.com/Allstate through November 25, 2015. The Team Captain and his fellow award recipients will be invited to New Orleans to participate in a community project before the 2016 Allstate® Sugar Bowl®.
Chiocco, who has appeared in 14 career games over his four year career, has an impressive list of charitable and community service endeavors to his credit. His annual Home Run Derby to benefit the Hearts for Hope Foundation, in memory of Fallon Finnegan a classmate at Mansfield High School who passed away from cystic fibrosis in 2010 at the age of 16, has raised $10,000 over the three years of its existence. His third annual Home Run Derby in August raised over $5,000 alone after raising that total over the first two years combined, the first year of the Derby raised money for One Fund Boston.
Chiocco also helped plan, execute and host a charity benefit concert for Sabrina Kelly, the daughter of Stonehill criminology instructor Pamela Kelly, which raised $3,000 for medical expenses and was held just days before Sabrina’s passing from cystic fibrosis in April. Chiocco has also volunteered his time with the Special Olympics of Massachusetts and Team IMPACT, while also participating in Relay for Life for six straight years and the 33rd Annual Massachusetts Shriners All-Star Game following his senior year of high school.
“I am thankful for the generosity of so many who have supported my Home Run Derby Fundraiser so that, together, we have been able to support two very special charities the past three years,” said Chiocco. “By supporting the One Fund Boston for Marathon Victims in 2013, and The Hearts for Hope Foundation which assists families with Cystic Fibrosis patients in 2014 & 2015, I have been fortunate enough to be able to give back to the community in my own unique way and have enjoyed every second.”
Chiocco has been named to the Northeast-10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll three times for having a semester grade point average of 3.0 or higher over his Stonehill career. He earned Scout Team Player of the Week honors during the 2014 season and finished the season with a career-high four tackles (three solo), including a forced fumble, as part of a Stonehill defensive unit which led the NE-10 for total defense (284.0 yds allowed/gm), passing defense (189.3 yds/gm) and rushing defense (94.7 yds/gm), while ranking second for scoring defense (19.6 ppg). He has totaled seven career tackles (four solo), including 2.0 tackles for a loss of five yards and the one forced fumble.
“I am extremely proud of Nick’s off the field accomplishments and am happy that he has been recognized for his efforts with a spot on the Allstate/AFCA Good Works Team,” said Talley. “He is a hard working player for our football team on the field, but his list of charitable contributions is truly remarkable and show that he has truly accepted the mission of Stonehill College with his commitment to service and the community that is core to our institutional values.”
Chiocco appeared in Stonehill’s 27-10 triumph over No. 11 Bloomsburg (Pa.) University in week one. He is part of a Skyhawks defensive unit which leads the NE-10 in scoring defense (15.0 ppg) and rushing defense (51.5 ypg), while ranking second for total defense (226.0 ypg) and passing defense (174.5). Stonehill ranks sixth nationally for rushing defense, 14th in total defense and 28th for scoring defense.
Since being established in 1992, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® has highlighted the importance of community service and volunteerism.
“Allstate is proud to continue the legacy of recognizing student-athletes for their role in making a positive impact in their local communities,” said Pam Hollander, vice president of marketing for Allstate. “The ‘good works’ of these individuals is an inspiration to us all and we are thrilled to recognize another team of young men that are truly making a difference both on and off the football field.”
“The members of the 2015 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® are an excellent example of hard work and dedication, both on the field and off,” AFCA Executive Director Grant Teaff said. “These 22 student-athletes have shown, through their countless hours of community service and work on the football field, that you can give more of yourself to help those around you. It’s a privilege to team up with Allstate to honor these students.”