Nicholas “Nick” Costantino

Nicholas “Nick” Costantino

Class of 1967


Year Inducted: 2019

Nicholas C. Costantino, this year’s recipient of the Earle Y. Hannel Award, graduated from Bennett in 1962 and was awarded his Bachelor’s Degree from U.B. in 1967. Nick cherished the education he received from BHS, weaing our orange tiger logo in his lapel at all times. Football was his chosen sport and he played for the Tigers from 1959-1961. During his undergraduate years at U.B., Nick, the passionate football player, was a defensive end for the Lackawanna Lancers semi-professional football team.

Upon graduation from U.B., Nick entered the John Marshall Law School in Chicago and received his law degree in 1971. In his final year of law school, he taught science in a Chicago inner-city middle school.

Upon returning to Western New York, Nick began to work in the Erie County D.A.’s office in 1974 and was chief of the Major Violent Offense Bureau until 1985 when he ran for mayor of the city. He then entered private practice and, for more than 30 years, his office was located down the street from Bennett at Main and Fillmore. During this time, Nick was involved in the Butler Mitchell alumni, supporting youth activities on the West Side.

Along with being an honorary football coach for the Bennett Tigers under head coach Steve McDuffie, Nick was most active as a Board Member in our Alumni Association. He was a loyal Sports Hall of Fame Committee member and a valued participant on Bennett’s Redesign Team, which formed in 2014. His family stated, “Nick worked passionately with others to keep Bennett High open when it was in jeopardy of closing”. Nick also worked very hard to develop a weight room adjacent to the Gym so our students could properly exercise with modern equipment that was not present before its inception.

Nick’s wife Karen, daughter Nicole, sons Justin, Andrew, Eric and Nicholas, his 20 grandchildren and one great grandchild are extremely proud of Nick receiving this prestigious award posthumously.

And, on behalf of the entire Bennett Alumni Association family, we will miss you, Nick.