Jack Curran, the legendary head coach of the men’s baseball and basketball teams at Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, died Wednesday night at his home in Rye, NY.
The 82-year-old was raised in the Kingsbridge area of the Bronx and graduated from All Hallows High School in 1948. He went on to St. John’s University, where he was captain and starting pitcher of the baseball team his senior year.
After playing minor league baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies, Curran was hired to be Molloy’s head baseball and basketball coach in 1958.
Over the years, Curran has won 74 percent of his games, a record total of 2,680 baseball and basketball games.
In all, Curran won 21 Queens Divisional Basketball Championships, 14 Brooklyn-Queens Basketball Championships, 24 Queens Divisional baseball titles, and made 24 trips to the Catholic High School Athletic Association Baseball championships.
Curran also recived the CHSAA Coach of the Year award a record-breaking 25 times for baseball and 22 times for basketball.
“We’re all deeply saddened,” Molloy Athletic Director Mike McCleary said, choking up a bit. “We’re going to miss him more than you could ever imagine.”
McCleary had been filling in for Curran over the final three weeks of the basketball season after Curran broke his right kneecap in a fall. He was also undergoing regular dialysis treatments and was recovering from cancer.
“Coach Curran has built a legacy that transcends any traditional notion of coaching high school athletics,” Molloy President Richard Karsten said in a statement. “To him it was always about the kids. They were the reason for his success. His passing will not only be felt by today’s students, faculty and staff, but generations going back over 50 years”
“Jack Curran was larger than the school where he coached and guided students for over a half-century,” Molloy alum and State Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) said. “He made an everlasting impression, not merely on the athletes of Molloy, but on every student, past and present, who has walked through its doors. Jack’s dedication, commitment and drive not only made him the winning-est coach in New York State and legendary at Molloy, but also a life example of successful perseverance and determination.”
Curran has produced a number of National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball players in the 55 seasons he has spent at Malloy.
Kenny Anderson, who after graduating Molloy, went on to play for the New Jersey Nets, spent Thursday morning tweeting memories and old pictures of his late high school coach.
“I lost my favorite coach, mentor and just great soul, Jack Curran you will be missed, I will have you in my thoughts everyday I live. Thank U,” one of the posts read.
Funeral and service arrangements have not been announced.