Archbishop Molloy coach Jack Curran dies at 82
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Jack Curran, who spent more than a half century at Archbishop Molloy High School and was among the nation's winningest prep coaches in basketball and baseball, has died. He was 82.
His death was confirmed Thursday by the Queens school. The family has yet to release further information, the school said.
Curran had been weakened by lung and kidney problems. He broke his kneecap last month when he slipped on ice while on his way to church. The mishap did not prevent him from attending church that day.
NBA players Brian Winters, Kevin Joyce, Kenny Smith and Kenny Anderson played under Curran at Archbishop Malloy. Curran was the winningest coach in New York state, with 972 victories in basketball and 1,708 in baseball.
"Those marks will never be broken," Archbishop Molloy President Richard Karsten told The Associated Press.
He lauded Curran for focusing not just on a player's athletic ability but on his "mind, body and spirit" as well.
"He was a hard worker and worked his team very hard," Karsten said. "He had the respect of so many young players and the older players would come back to see him."
Athletic director Mike McCleary, who worked with Curran for 15 years, said the coach "carried himself with class."
"He taught everybody how to behave by example," he said.
Curran is the only high school coach in the New York state Hall of Fame in both basketball and baseball, Karsten said.
Curran, who lived in Rye, N.Y., was a star college athlete at St. John's who went on to play minor league baseball for the Dodgers and Phillies.
"He loved talking about baseball and was just a great guy," said Mets outfielder Mike Baxter, a 2002 graduate of Archbishop Molloy. "I think in the outside world he was considered legendary and things like that, but I think the guys who knew him and played for him, he was more. He was just selfless and really put the lives of the kids that he had first. I think that's why he was around forever. It meant everything to him. It's definitely a sad day."
Funeral arrangements were not announced.