DeSales alum Dom Carlineo talks “Rachel Ray Show,” coaching at Lehigh

Originally published in Issue 8, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (February 2, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

Alumnus Dom Carlineo ’15 and his mom Nina of Philadelphia, Pa. won the first-ever mama’s boy cookoff in a “Rachel Ray Show” episode that aired Jan. 4.

Getting on the show was a completely random process.

“A great friend of mine from pre-school through high school worked on the show after college,” says Dom. “She heard how they wanted to do this segment and were looking for a local representative. She threw my mom and I out to them on a whim and they loved our story.”

Dom has loved cooking, and eating his mom’s food, since a young age.

“The kitchen was always where everyone gathered and hung out in our home growing up. I always loved to eat and, sometime between middle school and college, wanted to learn how to cook. I would watch my mom and mentally just take notes of how she’d do things.”

To win the show, Dom and Nina made a Philly Cheesesteak with an Italian twist. The ingredients consisted of shaved steak, a fresh roll, mozzarella and provolone for the cheese, sautéed peppers, onion and garlic topped off with homemade tomato sauce.
Chef Emeril Lagasse judged the competition based on taste, presentation, originality and most importantly, love.

The competing mom and-son duo made barbeque chicken wings with a secret sauce and loaded mashed potatoes, and although competition was tough, Dom and Nina came out on top.

“I love competition so winning was the plan,” jokes Dom.

On a more serious note, he says that spending the day with his mom meant the most to him.

“I’ve always been so close with her, so to be able to do something like this on TV and to have all of our friends, family, acquaintances and literally everyone watch it and reach out to us about it, is something that I’ll never forget.”

“It’s rare right now that we both get a full day off together due to our schedules, so this was the perfect excuse,” adds Dom.

In addition to bragging rights, Dom and Nina won a mama’s boy cook-off trophy, a spa day for mom and dinner for two at a local restaurant.


During a football game, Dom jokes with Lehigh’s senior starting linebacker who was hurt and had to sit out during the game. Photo courtesy of Lehigh

Since graduating from DeSales with a B.S. in sports and exercise science, Dom is working as a strength and conditioning coach at Lehigh University. He enjoys his job so much that he says, “so far, I haven’t worked a day in my life.”

One aspect Dom enjoys is thathe has so many different responsibilities that his days never get stale or redundant. He is responsible for programming, nutrition and scheduling for eight of Lehigh’s varsity teams, which is surprisingly only about a third of Dom’s job. He also handles administration work, equipment ordering, recruiting events and serves on a few Lehigh committees.

“I always loved the training and mental toughness aspect of sports even more so than sports themselves,” says Dom. “Once I completed my first internship at Lehigh with their strength and conditioning department, I knew what I wanted to do for my next phase in life.”

Dom works with hundreds of athletes a week, ranging from college to elementary school students counting the camps and individual sessions he runs.

“I have the opportunity to affect each one of their lives positively and that is my exact goal,” he says. “It is a very cool process to witness young people grow and develop both physically and mentally.”

Of course, DeSales played a large part in preparing Dom for where he is now. He says the two biggest lessons he learned at DeSales are ones that he heard every day. “Be who you are and be that well,” from Saint Francis de Sales and “God did not make any of us alike,” from Rev. Douglas Burns, OSFS, instructor and coordinator of sports and exercise physiology.

“Not only was it verified in our sports and exercise science curriculum, but [Burns] explained it to us throughout all aspects of life,” says Dom. “I continue to witness it constantly throughout every day life, especially with a job like mine where I work with so many people.”

As an alum, Dom hopes to stay involved with DeSales as much as he can. Currently, Dom works with DeSales sports and exercise science students who are interning at Lehigh and he also trains the DeSales’ men’s lacrosse team.

As most students have heard, the four years at DeSales fly by.

“It’s full of lifelong friends and faculty and staff who are willing to do absolutely anything for you as long as you put forth the effort,” says Dom.


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