July 5, 2010
Former Players, Colleagues Fondly Remember Paul Fistori
by Ed Collins, New Bedford Standard-Times
The game of golf lost a true gentleman with the June 24 passing of former UMass Dartmouth head coach Paul Fistori.
Fistori, resurrected the golf program at UMD by recruiting better players and upgrading the Corsairs' schedule, died at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston after a brief illness. He was 77. The Fairhaven resident took over at UMD in 1997 and compiled a 31-12-2 record in nine years before stepping down after the fall season in 2005.
"Paul was a great guy and he did his job very well," former UMD athletic director Bob Mullen said. "He was always upbeat and positive and he brought our golf program back to life. He was a pleasure to work with."
Acushnet's Ryan Pelletier, a 2003 UMD graduate who played four seasons for Fistori, said his former coach was a positive role model.
"He had a lot of passion for the golf program and he was a good mentor for all of his players. We all looked up to him," Ryan said. "He worked hard to bring in good players and he got us into a lot of great tournaments."
"He knew a lot about the game and he was a genuine good guy," said Kyle Pelletier, Ryan's younger brother, who played for Fistori in 2004 and 2005. "He stressed academics before golf and he taught his players a lot of valuable life lessons." Fistori, who also worked as Registrar and Director of University Records at UMD, guided the Corsairs to first-place finishes in the spring 2002 and 2004 Massachusetts Intercollegiate Championships.
UMD was fifth at the ECAC Division III Championship in the spring of 2003, and Fistori was named the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association Division III Northeast District Coach of the Year. The Corsairs took second in the fall of 2005, Fistori's last season, and ended up ranked 27th nationally by Golfstat. As a player, Fistori teamed with Bob Pallatroni in 1980 to win the Invitational Fourball Tournament at Reservation Golf Club in Mattapoisett, where he was a long-time member and club president.