sportsNOLA/Clarion Herald's 'Mr. Prep'
Ron Brocato is a native New Orleanian. He grew up in the Gentilly area and attended John McDonogh High School. Upon graduation in 1961, Brocato joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Oxnard, Calif. During four years of service as an Information Specialist, he attended Ventura Junior College at night to attain an Associate of Arts degree. Upon discharge in 1965, Brocato completed his formal education at Long Beach State (Calif.) University and began work as a reporter for the Anaheim (Calif.) Bulletin.
After one year learning the ropes in a daily newspaper, which included covering four high schools, the Los Angeles Rams, Lakers and California Angels, UCLA and USC sports and news photography, layout and editing, Brocato returned to New Orleans where he went to work for the States-Item. He remained with the Times-Picayune until 1987. He currently serves as sports editor for the Clarion Herald, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
During his career, Brocato has won several awards for headline and feature writing, columns and photography. Among the top honors were being named Louisiana’s Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sports Writers and Sportscasters Association in 1974 and Prep Writer of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association in 1997.
He authored a definitive history book dedicated to perpetuating the evolution of high school football, “The Golden Game: When Prep Football Was King in New Orleans” published in 2002.
Brocato received the Apollo trophy, awarded to the outstanding journalist of 2004 by the American Italian Renaissance Foundation, and the 2006 Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Prep Journalism Award. He was inducted into the De La Salle Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 for his contribution to high school athletics in New Orleans.
He was also named to the Warren Easton Charter High School Steering Committee and Board, the only member of the 11-person board who is not an alumnus of the city’s oldest public high school. The school successfully re-opened in August, 2006.
Brocato is past president of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association and serves on the Allstate Sugar Bowl committee, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, Warren Easton High School’s Hall of Fame and De La Salle Hall of Fame selection committees.
Brocato has hosted a Friday evening high school football show on WGSO Radio and has served the Louisiana High School Athletic Association as media coordinator for the state football championship games in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. He has also serves as a volunteer at the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and enjoys speaking to high school booster clubs and civic organizations, and researching and assembling football records for high schools to maintain their histories.
Brocato has advised WLAE for its documentary television series on the history of the Catholic League. In another major effort to promote local prep history, Ron spearheaded the project to launch the New Orleans High School Sports Hall of Fame, located at Ye Olde College Inn.