Cleat and Crayon: Blending art and football together

Local Sports

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Dave Murello found a love for football during his freshman year at Shenendehowa. When he graduated in 1999 Murello knew the sport was going to be a big part of his life.

“I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to play at Alfred University played there for four years played defensive end there and I knew in high school that I kind of wanted to be a coach,” said Murello.

Football wasn’t his only passion, growing up he was an artist always drawing or sketching. Murello loved it so much that’s what he decided to study in college. The problem was when he got to school the athlete found that he had to keep the artist separate.

“there was no merger between art and football for me I found out early on when I tried to bring football into my art it was definitely kind of looked down upon because that’s all that I was just a football player.”

After college Murello went straight into coaching. In 2007 he returned to the area teaching art on top of his football duties. Art would be put on the bench though, as he earned the head coaching gig at Ballston Spa in 2012. A few years later his art made a comeback. Now an assistant at Holy Trinity, a game winning field goal in the playoffs provided some inspiration.

“that’s kind of led itself to like we were talking about the photo of the kick the field goal that won the Glens Falls game and I was like wow I need to paint that.”

That was the first of many football paintings. Murello started sharing them on Instagram and Twitter under the account cleat and crayon. Other coaches have started to take notice asking him to paint something for them.

“the feedback with the coaching community has been great where I’ve got a couple commissions which is awesome, I’ve had some coaches reach out and say hey this is my favorite photo of our season can you paint this.”

His artistic ability isn’t limited to football. Murello is an art teacher at Ballston Spa Middle School, he recently turned a Dave Matthews Band painting into 150 meals for local hospitals and first responders.

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