Life of a Brave: Alumni Spotlight with Joseph Griffin, Class of ’75

by Oscar Aranda

Joseph Michael Griffin first stepped foot on the St. John Bosco campus 50 years ago in 1971, where he found a home within the Brave community.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

After working as a teacher for ten years, Mr. Griffin, or to many on campus, Coach Griffin, returned to campus in order to teach religious studies and to coach football in August of 1990. He joined the Bosco teaching staff together with Mr. Linares and Mr. Antonelli. Mr. Griffin is the religious department lead and is also a part of the freshman football coaching staff. In his 32 years as Bosco he has also served as vice-principal, CYM twice. He was the varsity football offensive coordinator for three years and the head freshmen football coach for several years.

Mr. Griffin always felt welcomed at Bosco and felt as if it was a second home. He was a quieter kid in high school and while not excelling in academics and sports, still felt very welcomed at Bosco. Though a lot of the campus has changed, for Mr. Griffin, the environment of the school has remained the same.

“There really are not many differences. We always had a diverse student community in those days,” said Mr. Griffin.

One of the only differences that Mr. Griffin has witnessed that the number of Salesians, priests and brothers that were on campus was much greater back then. Not only were there more salesians, priests and brothers, but there were no female teachers as well.

Though Mr. Griffin’s original plans were not to be a teacher, his aspirations to teach came much later. Though it may not have been in his initial plans, Mr. Griffin has proven to be an excellent teacher and a key piece to the Bosco community. He was able to achieve his goals through some of what Bosco was able to provide for him while he was in high school.

“Bosco gave me a nurturing place to grow up as an adolescent to feel welcomed and supported,” said Mr. Griffin. 

A new familiar face on campus is Bosco’s Principal, Dr. Kris Anderson. Dr. Anderson attended Bosco from 2000 to 2004. He was involved in the prestigious Bosco football program, where he was coached by Mr. Griffin during his time on the freshman football team. Dr. Anderson was able to prosper in the football program as he began as a backup offensive line man on the Gold team, until he became a starter his senior year winning league and earning himself a scholarship to the University of Idaho.

“With his mentorship and continuing to push me to be better, by the time I was a sophomore, I started on the sophomore team and was a two year starter,” said Dr. Anderson.

Dr. Anderson feels that Mr. Griffin’s qualities as a mentor for football and teaching are what helped him grow as a football player and person overall.

“His example of commitment and drive had a big impact on me,” said Dr. Anderson.

Mr. Griffin coached Dr. Anderson his freshman year and mentioned that he was a very hard worker and very dependable. Mr. Griffin was also his teacher mentor in 2009 and is now his fellow colleague. Dr. Anderson accredits Mr. Griffin for how his relationship changed from coach and athlete to colleague. This is due to Mr. Griffin’s experience in the teaching realm, in the sense that he has seen it all.

Mr. Griffin gives this advice to current Bosco Braves and that is to start taking academics seriously during your “high school days.”

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