Legend. Icon. No one had a greater infuence on Lebanon Valley College sports than Lou Sorrentino.
On Thursday morning, Sorrentino passed away at the age of 78. Following a battle with cancer, it was reported that Sorrentino died after a brief illness.
Sorrentino was a supporter of the Flying Dutchmen atheltic program, in one form or another, for the past 60 years. Laid-back, cordial and seemingly always with a smile on his face, Sorrentino was a fixture at many important Lebanon Valley sporting events.
“We are all terribly saddened by the death of Lou Sorrentino,” said Lebanon Valley College president Stephen MacDonald in a release. “It is an irreparable loss to the Lebanon Valley College community. Lou was a rock of this community. He spent almost sixty years here. He was arguably the most talented athlete this College ever produced. But he was much more than that. After his playing days in football and basketball and baseball were over, he stayed here for the rest of his life as coach and athletic director, as teacher and friend and counselor to generations of LVC students who trusted and loved this good man. We won’t see the likes of him again.”
For the 20 years prior to his retirement in 2000, Sorrentino served as Lebanon Valley’s athletic director. Before that, he coached the three sports he starred in while a student/athlete at LVC – football, basketball and baseball.
Sorrentino was a native of Sharon Hill in Delaware County, but established his residence in Lebanon County. He is a member of the Lebanon Valley, Central Chapter of the Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Sports Halls of Fame.
“Lebanon Valley College has lost one of its true legends,” said LVC’s current Director of Athletics, Rick Beard through the same release. “It is difficult to come up with the words to fully describe the total impact of Lou’s years of loyal service to Lebanon Valley College Athletics. It is truly impressive when you think about the number of individuals – be it fellow coaches, administrators or student athletes – he has touched over the years. We will all miss him very much.”
During his playing days, Sorrentino was a man for all seasons, starred in every sport he played and earned 12 varsity letters. Following his graduation from Lebanon Valley in 1954 and a two-year stint in the United States Army, Sorrentino signed professional contacts with both the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Eagles.
In 1971, Sorrentino returned to Annville and Lebanon Valley College in the capacity of its head football coach. He coached the Flying Dutchmen footballers for 15 seasons.
In 1972, he accomplished the rare feat of heading LVC’s football, basketball and baseball programs in the same school year.