Buffalo State Hall of Famer Clint Morano, ’87, served in the United States Navy for 23 years, more than ten of them on active duty. Today, he serves on an anti-terrorism task force and as an airport liaison agent with the FBI.
Morano will be back at his alma mater as the keynote speaker at the fifth annual Veterans Day Silent March to be held on campus Thursday, November 7, at 12:15 p.m. in the Student Union Quad.
“I think it’s great when colleges recognize people who have put so much on the line,” said Morano. “I’m all about freedom of speech; I’ve sworn to uphold the Constitution many times over. But when I think of what Vietnam veterans went through, I’m glad to see a change in attitude that recognizes the sacrifices made by people in the military. I’m glad Buffalo State is part of that change.”
Joining the military was always part of Morano’s life plan. His father served in the Korea, and his uncles were veterans, too. “My oldest brother went in the Navy when I was a little kid,” he said. “I just grew up with it.”
But first came college. Morano was no slouch in the classroom—he was a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honors society—but his first love was football. He was voted most valuable offensive lineman in 1986 and 1987, and he served as team captain in 1987. He was the first Buffalo State athlete to receive national recognition when he was named to the GTE/College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American Team, and he was a member of a number of academic all-American teams.
“College is what you make it,” he said. “You can get a two-point-oh or you can say, ‘I’m here for a reason, and I’m going to read and study.’” Being a student-athlete forced Morano to develop self-discipline. “You have to be at the team meetings and the practices while you keep up with your schoolwork,” he said, “especially in Division III, when you’re not getting any special tutors or scholarships. You do it for the love of the game.” His closest friends today are his one-time Bengal teammates.
Morano feels that, in many ways, football prepared him for the military. “They both involve discipline, leadership, camaraderie, and teamwork,” he said. Morano served as a naval flight officer—“the guy who coordinates the efforts of all the members of the team on a flight mission—before leaving active duty to join the FBI in 1999 as a counter-intelligence agent.
“I was in New York on 9/11,” he said. “After the towers were attacked, we went to work collecting evidence, conducting interviews, and following up leads about suspicious activities. That’s when I went over to counter-terrorism.” Today, Morano serves as the airport liaison agent and relief supervisor, stationed with the FBI’s New York Field Division’s John F. Kennedy [airport] Resident Agency. He is also part of the division’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
In his spare time, he still follows the Bengals on the football field. “I wish all the games were streamed live,” he said. “I’m a huge fan.”