Joanna Norris, Assistant DirectorDepartment of Media Relations and Events(904) 620-2102
Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
Greg DiFranza, tactical enforcement coordinator at
the Institute of Police
Technology and Management (IPTM) at the University of North Florida,
recently won his fourth national judo master’s heavyweight title.
DiFranza, a Jacksonville Beach
native, won both of his matches in a total of less than 2 minutes to claim the
gold medal at the 2010 USA Judo Senior National Championships in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Last summer, he won a gold medal in judo for the
grandmaster heavyweight division at the 2009 World Police & Fire Games in Vancouver, British
Columbia. He won two matches in under 30 seconds,
giving him his third consecutive gold medal win in the bi-annual event.
DiFranza, 53, was the only judo player from the USA
to win a gold medal, and one of only three USA medalists in the two-day judo
He has been an IPTM
instructor at UNF for more than 20 years, has actively competed in Kodokan Judo
since 1965 and currently holds the instructor ranking of Sandan
(third-degree black belt). He has held various divisional, state and Southeastern United States championship titles, including
a gold medal in the Florida State Police Olympics in 1982.
who is the head instructor at First Coast Kodokan Judo in Orange Park,
retired from competition in 1983 but returned as the Sunshine State Games gold
medal champion in 2000 and 2002. He won the USA National Champion in the
Master’s 100+ kg division for three consecutive years between 2003 and 2005. In 2005, DiFranza also won the gold medal in
the Pan American Judo Championships in the heavyweight division, a silver medal
in the open weight division and gold in the team competition (team Florida).
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