‘Karate Kid’ and ‘Cobra Kai’ star Ralph Macchio makes Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame


Huntington native and longtime Miller Place resident Ralph Macchio is among 21 influential sports figures included in the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022 announced this week.

The famed “Karate Kid” actor from the 1980s, who has reprised his role as Daniel LaRusso for Netflix’s ongoing popular “Cobra Kai” sequel series, is a special recognition inductee, being recognized for his positive influence on the martial arts.

The selection committee considers Macchio, 60, the star of three “Karate Kid” movies, a “culturally significant icon for his work in martial arts with Karate Kid and Cobra Kai.”

Announced this week, the Class of 2022 is one of the largest induction classes in the history of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame.

It features longtime ESPN sports personality Linda Cohn out of Newfield High School, legendary William Floyd High School football coach Paul Longo, and former Major League Baseball relief pitcher Billy Koch.

“This induction class packs a heavy punch of historic significance,” said Chris R. Vaccaro, executive director of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame. “From athletes to journalists, coaches to local icons and officials, the class has an amazing blend of individuals who have made their mark and have reached the pinnacle of success in their respective disciplines.”

The group is expected to be honored during a May 18 induction ceremony at East Wind in Wading River. Because of the recent dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases, the Hall of Fame is not yet selling tickets to the event and will monitor the situation in the coming weeks, according to a press release.

Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2022

Sam Apuzzo
A West Babylon native, Apuzzo in 2018 at Boston College earned the Tewaaraton Award, given to the most outstanding female college lacrosse player in the United States.

She is now an assistant coach at Boston College, and was part of the Eagles coaching staff in the spring when the team captured the national championship. A 2019 graduate, she holds all-time program records at Boston College for career points (390), goals (278) and draw controls (444).

At West Babylon High School, Apuzzo scored 375 career goals, including 107 her senior season to lead all Long Island scorers. She was a four-year varsity captain and a two-time United States Lacrosse All-American and Under Armour All-American. She also experienced great success while playing for the Long Island Top Guns Black Team.

Charlie Bunger
A “historic” inductee, Bunger is a Long Island surfing pioneer from Babylon who is known for Bunger Surf shops in Babylon and Sayvile. He founded the first Bunger Surf Shop in 1962 in Copiague. Bunger began surfing at 18, when he moved to Lindenhurst from Brooklyn. His favorite place to surf was Gilgo Beach.

Considered a legend in the sport, Bunger in 1996 was among the first 23 inductees into the East Coast Surf Legends Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the International Surfboard Builders Hall of Fame. He died in 2018 after a long battle with cancer.

Linda Cohn
The longtime ESPN “SportsCenter” host is a member of the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) Hall of Fame. Cohn, who played goalie for the Newfield High School boys hockey team, has been a “SportsCenter” anchor since joining ESPN in 1992. In early 2016, she was recognized for anchoring her 5,000th “SportsCenter,” the most of any anchor in ESPN history. She played hockey at SUNY Oswego, and in 2016 was inducted into the college’s Athletics Hall of Fame.

John Daly
Daly is a three-time Olympic skeleton racer from Smithtown.

Olivia Galati
Galati is prolific softball player at St. John the Baptist and Hofstra University, where her number is retired.

Chris Fallica
An ESPN producer most known for his work on College GameDay, Fallica is from Westhampton Beach

Keri Farley
Farley is a U.S. National Handball standout, Cornell basketball record holder and an inductee in the Sachem Athletic Hall of Fame.

Myles Jones
All-American lacrosse player and national champion at Duke, and an all-star in the Premier Lacrosse League. He starred at Walt Whitman High School.

Paul Longo
This fall, Longo became the county’s all-time winningest football coach. Each of his 214 wins have come as the coach of William Floyd. He has led Floyd to 13 county titles. Longo’s massive success includes a 42-game winning streak that lasted from 2005 through 2008, a Long Island football record.

Kevin Harrington
John Glenn High School girls volleyball coach who is one of the winningest high school girls volleyball coaches in New York state history.

Billy Koch
A West Babylon High School graduate, Koch was a big leagues closer who tallied 163 career saves during his career. He was named American League Relief Pitcher of the Year in 2002 with the Oakland Athletics.

Ralph Macchio, special recognition inductee
The longtime Miller Place resident is a culturally significant icon for his work in martial arts with “Karate Kid” and “Cobra Kai,” the selection committee said.

Tina Moon
Moon is among the winningest field hockey coaches in Suffolk County history at Sachem High School. She was an All-American player at Centereach and in college at UConn.

Joe Pellicane
The Deer Park resident is a longtime college basketball coach with more than 540 victories. He now coaches the women’s team at Molloy College

AJ Preller
Preller, 44, is the president of baseball operations and general manager of San Diego Padres. He graduated from Walt Whitman High School in 1995.

John and Allison Pfeffer
The Pfeffers have been longtime Bay Shore High School head coaches of multiple sports, including lacrosse and gymnastics. 

Matt Senk
Senk is the longtime Stony Brook University baseball coach with more than 870 victories and a trip to the College World Series.

Kia Wright
One of Long Island’s highest scoring girls high school basketball players. She played for Copiague High School and earned induction into the St. John’s University Hall of Fame for her outstanding collegiate career.

Darrel Young
An Amityville High School graduate who was a running back with Washington in the NFL. He is now director of player personnel with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Steve Zimmer
A Smithtown resident and veteran NFL referee, who has worked in many high important games, including the Super Bowl.

Top: Portrait of Ralph Macchio (credit: Facebook)