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"Traf" a Hall of Famer

The Rhode Island Interscholastic League announced it will induct Michael A. Traficante into the Athletic Hall of Fame.

Former Cranston Mayor and current School Committee Member Michael A. Traficante will be inducted into the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Athletic Hall of Fame next month.

"Mr. Traficante's success and accomplishments continue the tradition of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League honoring exceptional people," said Thomas Mezzanore, executive director of the RIIL.

For years, Traficante has been deeply involved with the lives of not just young athletes, but all of Cranston's youth. He's been a teacher, coach, mentor and community leader. He serves on the board of directors for the Cranston Area Career and Technical Academy. His name graces plaques on countless fields and parks where the city's young athletes play and compete. 

"I am sincerely and deeply honored for the privilege of being recognized among Rhode Island’s finest interscholastic community,” Traficante said in a release.  “Youth and high school athletics, in my humble opinion, is one of the few institutions that instill in our young people the importance of good character, a competitive attitude, and respect for fair play. Our youth learn life lessons on the athletic field that are just as important as those they learn in the classroom.”  

Known by most as "Traf," Traficante's name is known in most Cranston households. 

His career started 40-years ago as a math teacher, and football and wrestling coach, eventually becoming the assistant principal at Cranston High School East. 

He served on the City Council for six years before being elected Mayor in 1985. He held the post for 14 years and holds the record for the longest tenure of any Cranston mayor.

Traf's other legacy is at Cranston East, where his record as a coach is gilded with championships. As assistant coach of the Thunderbolts football team in 1965, his team won the Class A Large Division title. The wrestling team captured the state and New England titles that same year. In 1968, he became head wrestling coach and his wrestlers won the state title and finished second in New England. 

A few years later, Traficante became head football coach. He won division titles in 1972 and 1974 and the state championship in 1975. He also became an assistant wrestling coach at Bishop Hendricken, where he led the Hawks to a state championship.

Traficante will be feted on May 11 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick at 7 p.m.

Rob T May 05, 2011 at 03:24 PM
David, You can say that about every politician ever elected... they do some good and bad. Decisions that people agree with and disagree with. This award does not have anything to do with his political career. We can acknowledge this accomplishment here and save the complaining where appropriate.... we certainly have enought people to do that...EVERYONE OUT IN 2012!!!
David Davis May 05, 2011 at 05:14 PM
Rob T The problem with you and many of the Rhode Island Electorate is that they try to separate the man/women from the politician. They do not spend the time to really look at the issues, they will vote for someone because he is a nice guy or because he/she is Italian or because their parents always voted democrat so they are obligated to do the same. We need to look at the whole person. While I applaud him for connecting with students as a teacher, his actions as a Mayor, City Council member and School committee member (chairman) have done detrimental damage to the School System that is having a negative effect on the students of today, but they don't matter to him because he needs to be concerned about his pension and the pension of all of his buddies. They are not mutually exclusive of each other.
Cranston Resident May 05, 2011 at 06:59 PM
This is an award for his contributions as a coach. Idiots like you are making it into something else because you like to read your own words. The words in this blog are meaningless compared to Traf's contribution of his time and resouces to the youth of this city. Maybe instead of typing nonsense into a computer you and your kind should try to actually do something for your community.
Rob T May 05, 2011 at 07:22 PM
David, The problem with you is that you make comments like the one above. I find it hard to believe his actions as a Mayor, which ended in 1985, City Council member and School Committee member has caused "detrimental damage to the School System... because he needs to be concerned about his pension and the pension of all his buddies". Re-read that again so you'll realize how idiotic that sounds. I didn't realize that one man had so much power to bring down the city!! How could we have let that happen!! Why is our government set up to let one man have all of these negative affects? Can he not be stopped? Here's an idea, argue that he may be part of the problem, and acknowledge that you maybe too. Hard to believe that Traf and all his buddies are sitting back laughing at the rest of Cranston. Sounds like you must have gotten cut from his football team...
Cranston Resident May 06, 2011 at 12:42 AM
During the 14 years from 1985 to 1998 Traf was mayor, the Cranston School system was the gold standard for education in Rhode Island. In fact many people moved into Cranston just so their children could attend our schools and play in our sports programs. Many of the people on this blog like David Davis who have only been here a few years would re-write that history to suit their own twisted political agendas. Well, for those of us that have had the benefit of living here during Cranston's golden era, we view the lunatics like Davis as a contributing factor in this city's decline. The last few years have brought us some of the worst elected officials in the history of this city who are the other half of the equation in our city's demise. In the mean time, I congratulate Traf for a job well done and for his commitment to public service. While I never had him as a teacher or a coach, I know many Cranstonians that did. And everyone of them that I have known, appreciated what Traf did for them as students, players and as citizens.

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