WALTER "BYRD" MALIA
Tony Fahl, one of the Hall’s 2011 posthumous inductees, was one of the top athletes ever to take to the gridiron at Thiel College in Greenville.
He began his athletic career at Greenville’s Penn High School, where he played football from 1936-38 and also wrestled for two years as a freshman and sophomore, posting an overall record of 13-1 at 88 and 95 pounds.
He received a football scholarship offer from Niagara University, but turned it down and entered the Air Force where he served during World War II. He was discharged in 1945.
In 1946, he helped lead the Tomcats to an undefeated season and he was named to the All-Conference team. He also made All-State and All-District teams in 1947 and 1948. In 1949, he was name Little All-American.
During his playing days at Thiel, the teams posted an overall 28-4 record. The 1946 team was invited to play in the Tobacco Bowl, but the team didn’t go because of cost constraints.
Thiel legendary Coach Jack Stoeber called Tony “the best 2-way player he ever coached.”
After Thiel, he was assistant football and basketball coach at St. Michael’s School for four years. He was a big supporter of Greenville area sports and owned the Smoke House Tavern for 38 years. He died in 1998.