As per USA Deaf Sports Federation’s bylaws, the National Sport Organizations (NSOs) host a nomination process and election annually to appoint two individuals to represent the interests of the NSOs (both winter and summer sports) on the board of USADSF. The role of the NSO Representative is to act as a member of the board, participating in all board meetings and functions, voting on board motions, and act as a liaison between the NSOs and the Board, keeping each other consistently informed of all matters pertaining USADSF and the NSOs. As per the bylaws, one NSO Representative serves a 2 year term, while the second NSO Representative serves a 1 year term. As the recent NSO Representative abdicated his term early, both newly-elected NSO representatives will be serving a 1-year term for the remainder of 2017-2018.
The newly elected NSO Representatives are Liza Offreda (Soccer) and James DeStefano (Basketball). Their bios and pictures are below. The Board of USADSF warmly congratulates and looks forward to working with both.
Liza Offreda was named Gallaudet’s fifth women’s soccer head coach on August 6, 2014. She served four years as an assistant coach from 2010-13 for the Bison women’s soccer program. Offreda is the athletic department’s Title IX Coordinator, a post she was appointed to in Spring 2015. She also currently serves as the department’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Advisor.
Offreda played one season of women’s soccer at Fairleigh Dickinson University (Division I) in the fall of 2006 before transferring to Montclair State University (Division III). The midfielder/forward was a two-time all-conference selection (2008, ’09). She played three seasons at Montclair where she scored 13 goals, seven assists in 51 games played. Offreda graduated cum laude from Montclair State in 2010 with a bachelor of arts in English Education. She furthered her education at Gallaudet where she earned a master of arts in Deaf Education in May 2012.
Offreda has represented USA Deaf Women’s Soccer National Teams for ten years where she has helped the team win gold medals at the Deaflympics (2009, ’13) and the Deaf World Cup in 2012 and 2016. She was named the tournament’s best right midfielder in 2016.
Offreda has also served on the USA Deaf Soccer Board as a Secretary for 4 years.
She currently resides in Washington, D.C. and is currently working on her doctorate degree in Education at Northeastern University.
For more than 30 years, James DeStefano has been coaching basketball at the high school, collegiate and international levels. DeStefano is entering his tenth season at the Maryland School for the Deaf where his overall record is 179 wins and 77 losses. During nine years at Maryland School for the Deaf, his teams captured National Champions four times. He started coaching at Mackin Catholic High School in Washington, DC in 1981. DeStefano was also the basketball coach at Model Secondary School for the Deaf for 2 years where he had an impressive record of 42-15 and his team was selected as the National Champions in his 2nd season. He coached 11 years at the high school level and his overall record was 221 wins and 92 losses.
DeStefano had nearly 20 years of collegiate experience at Gallaudet University. One of his many accomplishments at Gallaudet was that more than 20 of his former players and managers followed his footstep to become successful high school and college basketball coaches and high school athletic directors. During his stint at Gallaudet, he was a two time Capital Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
At the International level, DeStefano was an assistant coach for the 1997 Deaf USA Basketball team. The squad won the gold medal in the Deaflympics in Copenhagen, Demark. As the head coach in 2001, DeStefano led the Deaf USA Basketball team to a gold medal at the Deaflympics in Rome, Italy. The following year, DeStefano was the head coach for the 2002 Deaf USA Basketball team that earned a silver medal at the Deaf World Basketball Championship in Athens, Greece. In 2009, DeStefano was an assistant coach for the 2009 Deaf USA Basketball team that captured the gold medal in the Deaflympics in Taipei, Taiwan. As the assistant coach for the Deaf women’s team in 2013, DeStefano helped the women’s basketball team reclaiming the gold medal at the Deaflympics in Sofia, Bulgaria. The following year, DeStefano was named the head coach for the men’s team and led the team a gold medal at the U21 Deaf World Basketball Championship in Samsun, Turkey. In 2015, DeStefano led the Deaf USA Basketball team to a silver medal at the Deaf World Basketball Championship in Taoyuan, Taiwan. As the head coach in 2016 for the Pan American Deaf Basketball Championship, he led the Deaf USA Basketball team to a gold medal in Frederick, Maryland. At the international level, his overall record was 48 wins and 2 losses.
DeStefano was elected as Secretary General for the Deaf International Basketball Federation Americas in 2016 and will serve 4 year term from 2016 to 2020. DeStefano also serves as the Men’s Coordinator for the USA Deaf Basketball for the last 8 years.