|Joe attended Bel Air (Md.) High School from 1914 until entering the University of Maryland in 1927 where he graduated with a B.S. degree in civil engineering in 1931. While in high school he ran on the track team and was a member of an 80 lb. relay team which set a county record. He also pitched on its softball team. Joe participated on a Bel Air town basketball team in 1926, but he ceased playing all other athletics due to illness.
While at Maryland, Joe won freshman letters in basketball and lacrosse; played three years of varsity lacrosse, winning letters in his junior and senior years; played two years of varsity football, winning a letter as a substitute tackle in his senior year. In lacrosse in his senior year (1931), he was unanimous selection for position of Point on the Spalding Official First All-American Lacrosse team. He was named defense captain of Baltimore American Newspaper All-American Team in 1931. Joe was selected as Best Bet on the Sunpapers All-Maryland Team in 1931. Joe was voted best senior athlete, Class of 1931 at the University of Maryland and selected as a member of the 12-man University of Maryland all-star lacrosse team. He was awarded the Charles Linhart Athletic Acheivement Ring in 1931. He was voted captain of lacrosse at the end of the 1931 season.
Joe served as president of the senior class and as president of Kappa Alpha Order Social Fraternity (1930-31). Joe was a member of Tau Beta Pi National Honorary Engineering Scholastic Society, Omicron Delta Kappa National Honorary leadership fraternity.
He assisted as a volunteer coach of defense at the University of Maryland in 1932. In 1933 he coached an undefeated Maryland freshman team. From 1933 to 1956 he scouted off and on for the lacrosse team. In 1932 Joe played quarterback for the unlimited class Champion Mohawk A.C. Football Team of the District of Columbia. In 1936 Joe managed, coached and played for the Maryland team in the Baltimore Sports Arena Box Lacrosse League. In 1936 he played defense for the Tri-City team in the Mt. Washington Box Lacrosse League. In 1937 he played first defense for the Baltimre Athletic Club lacrosse team. This team enjoyed an undefeated season and won the National Open Lacrosse Championship. In 1939 he helped to organize the Washington Athletic Association. From 1939 to 1941, Joe coached, managed and played a close attack position on the W.A.A. Lacrosse Team.
In 1950-51 Joe served as president of the University of Maryland "M" Club. During his tenure of office, he instituted the Annual "M" Club Athletic Dinner and served as the Toastmaster for the first two dinners and program chairman for the first four dinners. In 1956, Joe suggested to the "M" Club Board of Governors that the "M" Club sponsor the Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame. Favorable action was taken and the Hall of Fame came into existence that year. For the first four years Joe served as the chairman of the Hall of Fame selection committee. Beginning in 1954, Joe served as the treasurer of the "M" Club.
Beginning in 1958 he became co-donor of the Deckman-Silber Lacrosse Award to the Most Improved Defenseman on the University of Maryland lacrosse squad each year. Joe served on the Lacrosse Hall of Fame Foundation beginning in 1959, and was president of the Lacrosse Foundation in 1967 and 1968.
Joe Deckman passed away on August 16, 1969.