CHS Alum: Living His Dream

Michael Vaccaro ‘85 Has Achieved Career Goals as a New York Post Sports Columnist 

A former Tarmac writer, Vaccaro (center) uses his years of journalism experience to report on events such as the Super Bowl & Olympics.

Tucker Terannova ’23

Imagine this. Your father is taking you to your first baseball game. The energy of the crowd excites you. You are just a seven-year-old boy who has only seen his childhood heroes from his living room. As you enter the stadium, everything feels surreal. The stadium and crowd are more vibrant than you could have ever imagined, and the players look larger than life.

As you settle into your seats, you notice a group of people above you who seem to be writing. When you ask your dad what they are doing, he explains that they are sports writers, and this is their job.

At that moment, your seven-year-old self knows exactly what you want to do with your life. For Mike Vaccaro ’85, this is how his career in journalism began.

Vaccaro, a sports columnist for the New York Post since 2002, left his mark on Chaminade High School. He joined the Tarmac student newspaper early in his freshman year, where he was able to hone his writing skills and learn more about what it takes to become a journalist.

Outside of the publications office, he was a four-year member of the Flyers basketball team. His Coach realized his unique writing abilities early on and asked him if he could write up reports for Tarmac. Vaccaro took this as an opportunity to prove himself—and he ran with it.

After graduation, Vaccaro attended St. Bonaventure University in New York. As a college student, he began working on the air in order to complement his writing background.

Vaccaro stated. “I tried to learn anything I could to enhance my skills. Of course at first, I was nervous to hop on the air. Once I became more acclimated with it, I actually became a better writer, as I learned the value of how people take in information and how to distribute it to them.”

With a college diploma in hand, Vaccaro re- calls how he “moved around trying to find the best job available, before getting a break at the Kansas City Star as a fill-in columnist. After that,” Vaccaro continued, “I went back home to work in the tri-state area and eventually got my dream job at the Post.”

This is what Vaccaro had hoped for since his first baseball game back in 1974 and, now, it had become his reality.

When he got to the Post, Vaccaro made it his mission to stay true to himself. He wanted his work to be a reflection of the person he is and the things he had to say.

When asked about his favorite experiences so far, Vaccaro stated, “I love covering the Olympics. Sure the Su-per Bowl, Final Four, and World Series are great, but the Olympics are always just different.”

Although he is now living his dream job and flourishing in the role, Vaccaro believes his biggest accomplishment will be how he can assist others who are in need of a mentor.

“I find it so important,” Vaccaro concluded, “to be there for others and to teach them about the job. I love giving back and talking to students…and walking them through the journey. Dave Anderson from The New York Times was my mentor. He loved to spend time with me, and he did his job the way I wanted to. He conducted himself like a Chaminade man and was always accessible to me.”

Vaccaro is a real-world example of how dreams can, in fact, come true. He knew what he wanted from childhood and is now living out his dream life.