Donor Profile: Jim Mazzitelli
AMES, Iowa - Being able to work as a professor at a distinguished university has its privileges. You get to work with new people every year, maintain a good standard of living, and attend all of the athletic events you would ever want. For 37 years and counting, that is what Jim Mazzitelli has been able to do.
Since stepping foot on campus, the current adjunct instructor of accounting has seen just about everything in Cyclone athletics.
“I’ve been a loyal Cyclone supporter since 1971,” Mazzitelli said. “That first year I got season football tickets, and have held onto them to this day.”
As a 23-year old graduate of Drake, Mazzitelli had been active in athletics and wanted to continue his passion for the sports he loved. What he found in store for him was a job as an accounting instructor at Iowa State.
“I was always interested in athletics,” said Mazzitelli. “I competed as an athlete in my younger years, and was captain of my junior college wrestling team.”
Mazzitelli went on to pursue his adoration for wrestling as an official. He had always worked at the state wrestling meet in Des Moines, but worked his way up to become an NCAA Division I referee.
“Wrestling was always big for me,” Mazzitelli said. “I really enjoyed officiating and was close to the sport in that way. I was fortunate to referee some Big Eight tournaments for many years, and also officiate for both the Iowa State and Drake programs.”
After hanging up his whistle in 1988, Mazzitelli used his CPA license to purchase an accounting practice in Ames, Iowa. Retiring from officiating also meant he now could focus on becoming more of a fan. He picked up season tickets for both basketball and wrestling and became a part of the Cyclone Club donating at the Gold level.
Mazzitelli especially remembers some of the great Iowa State-Iowa wrestling matches.
“One of the best moments was when we broke our losing streak to the Hawkeyes winning on a final pin,” Mazzitelli exclaimed.
Of course Nick Passolano’s stick of Cole Pape in 2003 is just one great moment in Cyclone wrestling history. For Mazzitelli, that is just the tip of the iceberg in the many moments he has experienced as a loyal Iowa State fan.
Mazzitelli recalls with excitement his favorite football moments, including the infamous Luther Blue kick return for a touchdown versus Nebraska in 1976, Marv Seiler’s triumphant leadership to a Cyclone victory versus Nebraska in 1992 and the road trip to the 2001 Independence Bowl.
While Mazzitelli is in year two of a three-year phased retirement from Iowa State, he realizes that becoming a Cyclone fan will keep him here in Ames for years to come.
“One of the biggest reasons I will stay here is because of all the athletic events that take place,” Mazzitelli said. “I want to stick around Ames for the entertainment values, and as always - Iowa State athletics.”