Press Release for Thursday, April 5, 2007
UNF Police Instructor Wins Gold Medal in Judo Competition
Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
Greg DiFranza, tactical enforcement unit coordinator at the University of North Florida’s Institute of Police Technology and Management, recently won a gold medal in the judo competition at the 2007 World Police & Fire Games held in Adelaide, Australia.
DiFranza, a retired Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer and IPTM instructor for 23 years, was one of only three USA medalists and the only American to win gold in the judo competition. The 50 year old competed in the Grand Master +100kg weight division (50 years and over) and was among approximately 140 competitors. The 2007 World Police & Fire Games, held March 15-25, had more than 8,000 competitors from over 70 countries.
The Jacksonville Beach resident 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.
DiFranza 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, he 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).
He is president and owner of WinFirst International, Inc., a company that provides hands-on officer survival training and consulting services to numerous law enforcement agencies throughout the world.