Department of Kinesiology Professor and Chair Dr. Michael Orfitelli died unexpectedly Saturday, Oct. 17. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Oct. 21 at Christ the King Chapel on campus.
A member of the St. Ambrose family for more than 30 years, Dr. Orfitelli served many different roles in the athletic and physical education departments. He was the chair of the Physical Education Department for 16 years, while also teaching classes in such subjects as kinesiology, wellness, sport promotions and marketing, and individual and team sport skills. He was the first head coach for the St. Ambrose women’s soccer team, serving in that role from 1994 to 2000. He was named Midwest Classic Conference Coach of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 1999, and NAIA Region VII Coach of the Year in 2000, while coaching St. Ambrose to top 25 finishes in 1999 and 2000. This year he was in his fifth season as women's golf coach. Dr. Orfitelli was nominated for Faculty Member of the Year honors four times. He was inducted into the St. Ambrose Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003.
Before coming to St. Ambrose, Dr. Orfitelli earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Health and Physical Education from Pittsburg State in Pittsburg, Kansas. He continued his education at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he earned a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. He then attended the University of Iowa, where he earned his post doctorate degree in education administration.
Please keep the Orfitelli family in your thoughts and prayers.