"Spaghetti Joe" Spagnola Still Applying Football Life Lessons

Former ASU Quarterback Using Skills at Chapman Ford in Scottsdale, AZ

Sep 19, 2013, 15:00 ET from Chapman Ford

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Football is like life - it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority. ~ Vince Lombardi

There are a few other life lessons former ASU Sun Devil quarterback "Spaghetti" Joe Spagnola would add to Lombardi's list, the least of which is exposure to people of all walks of life, and the ability to effectively communicate with them. Spagnola, a Desk Manager for Chapman Ford in Scottsdale, has used his experience on the football field and parlayed it into a successful career in the automotive industry.

Forty-three years ago, Spagnola was part of one of the greatest ASU football teams to hit Sun Devil Stadium. In 1970, he and wide-receiver JD Hill helped propel ASU to an undefeated regular season 10-0 record, an appearance (and win) in the Peach Bowl, and a No. 6 ranking by the Associated Press. The hoopla surrounding this achievement, as well as athletics in general, allowed him to successfully interact with many people – a skill he still uses every day in his personal and professional life working at the Ford dealership in Scottsdale.

"In sports, there are a lot of people involved and they all have different personalities," Spagnola said. "Being exposed to many different facets of people and interacting with them helps me now when I start a conversation with someone. If they are an old-timer like me they will say 'I remember when you played ball at ASU.' It makes it easier to open up a dialogue with customers."

Spagnola, a native of Pratola Serra, near Naples, Italy, came to America when he was nine and settled in East Paterson, New Jersey. It was there he learned English and took up football, earning the moniker of "Spaghetti Joe." Offered a football scholarship, he became a Sun Devil in 1967 and starting quarterback during his sophomore year in 1968, playing for legendary ASU Coach Frank Kush. Spagnola said his fondest memories of college are those from that incredible 1970 ASU season, and despite the gridiron accomplishments he achieved during that time, there is one thing he would go back and change about his football career.

"I wish I had devoted more time into weightlifting and conditioning," he reflected. "I was a small quarterback – only about 175 pounds – and had I been larger, I could have possibly played professional ball. That's one thing I would have done differently back then."

Spagnola has worked for the Scottsdale Ford dealership since 2010, and began his automotive career at the age of 25 selling Datsuns. In addition to great football stories, stop by and ask him about the 1964 ½ Mustang his father bought for him right out of the showroom in New Jersey. He will talk about it with the same fondness in his voice that he does about his wife, two children and grandchildren – and that magical undefeated football season 43 years ago.

In support of ASU football, Chapman Ford is offering Facebook fans an additional $1,000 cash allowance for their trade or towards the purchase of a new or pre-owned vehicle. In addition, Sun Devil fans will have the chance to score tickets to an upcoming football game courtesy of Chapman Ford. Details on both promotions can be found at www.facebook.com/ChapmanFord.

CONTACT: Drew Davault, 480-516-0088

SOURCE Chapman Ford