Seven Questions With Al Salvo
Feb. 14, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - Albert, or Al, Salvo is still running "strong and free" as a result of hard work, preparation and practice. As a former Strong and Free Safety on the USU Football team from 1977-1980, Salvo learned the importance of preparation and has applied the lessons he learned at Utah State in his every day life as a husband of 30 years, father of two, Daytona racecar driver and business owner. Al and his brother Joe are also a generous donors to Aggie Athletics.
1. When you think of your time at Utah State University, who is the first person you think of?
As of late, I think of Bruce Snyder. Snyder was the head coach for USU Football from 1976 to 1982. With his recent passing due to cancer, a disease that also runs in my family, I have thought about him a lot. I didn't realize during the time I was on his team what a great coach he was and what a talented team we had. I had the opportunity to be on Bruce's team for two of his three winning seasons at USU. Bruce led a very prolific career after coaching for the Aggies as well. He was a very good coach and like any excellent teacher, he taught us all the important keys to being successful in life. I have applied many lessons I learned from Bruce and his staff in my life and my business career.
2. What was your most memorable experience at USU as a student athlete?
Definitely the USU versus Nebraska game in 1979. They were ranked No. 2, and we almost won the game. The 1979 season was the year we had a really awesome offense. We also had many former teammates that year that went on to play professionally. I was actually awarded the Defensive Player of the Game at the conclusion of USU versus Nebraska. There were 80,000 people in Lincoln, Neb, there to watch. I like to think back on my play during that game and the acknowledgement of it. It was the highlight of my athletic career.
Side note: Upon leaving Logan, Al said he actually managed to grab the film reel of the 3rd quarter, which he knew was a significant part of the USU vs. NU game. That reel sat in the back of his closet for 25 years, untouched and unwatched. His wife and two daughters treated him by surprising him with a converted DVD version of this film reel a few years ago. Now he can now enjoy watching that re-play whenever he feels like reminiscing.
3. How did your experience at Utah State help prepare you for successes in your career?
I think success for me started with participating in solid sports programs. The benefit of participating was learning those hard, important lessons of life. As a student athlete, I learned that dedication plus discipline equals positive results; those lessons apply to my life as a businessperson and as a person in general. I have learned that once you have a plan on paper, you actually have to have the discipline and dedication to get you to your summit. For an athlete, the summation of experiences gathered from climbing and reaching the top of a mountain are the tools used most in life.
4. What is the most fun you have had in the last five years?
Participating in the Rolex 24-Hour at Daytona Race.
It's the only race of its kind where some of the best drivers from NASCAR, Indy Car, Grand-Am and ALMS compete against each other in the same race.
Participating in this great race was a fulfillment of a boyhood dream.
One of the most important aspects that plays into the actual race is the preparation that must happen beforehand. There's a lot more that goes into it than you would ever see on the TV. It's not a sprint race. Driving at incredibly high speeds for hours on end is more than just driving fast; it's all about conserving energy, focusing, dealing with yellow flags and protocol. It was a great feeling to be fit enough to withstand the physical demand of racing.
5. If I followed you around for a day at work, what would I see you do?
I oversee the overall operations of Miracle Sealants with my brother Joe. Miracle Sealant's is a company that manufacturers a series of care products to protect and maintain natural stone, tile, grout and masonry surfaces. If anyone followed me around at work they'd think my job is one of "controlled insanity." We have our products in 12 countries. Here in the USA, we supply companies like The Home Depot, which means placement in over 1,900 stores. My days are full, the hours are long, but we are fortunate that there is a lot of excitement every day. We're passionate about what we do. It's nice to have my brother working alongside me, where we can share the load, the responsibility, the stress and the success.
6. What were your favorite places in or fondest memories of Logan?
Coming from a big city, I'd have to say I enjoyed the small town experience of Logan. I loved the USU campus. I enjoyed skiing at Beaver Mountain. I liked it all. There was a restaurant on Main Street called Gia's. My wife, who was actually my high school sweetheart, and I, used to go there all the time. I loved those local spots where the students would go when we were young and just wanted to relax and get away from sports or school.
7. What would your former teammates tell us about you?
They'd say, "Uncontrolled insanity." Back then, it was uncontrolled. In the business world today, it's controlled, but still insanity.
Whether in the business world, his family life or his former athletic days at USU, Al has managed to find a happy medium between passion and preparation. He may jokingly claim insanity, controlled or uncontrolled depending on the timeframe, however this man clearly has an understanding about the world around him and how to put high energy into whatever it is he maybe involved in.
Al said he would love to get back into contact with all of his former athletic teammates and friends. Al can be reached at: