By Sandra Birungi
Baseball and basketball coach, Jack Curran has died at the age of 82.
Curran, for the past 55 years has coached baseball and basketball players at Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens and has won more than 2600 games during this entire time. He died Wednesday at his home in Rye, NY.
Richard Karsten, president of Molloy confirmed his death saying the deceased had lung and kidney problems, and had broken a kneecap in a fall in February. “But we were expecting him back in a few weeks, in time to coach the baseball season,” Karsten said.
Curran applied for the job of baseball and basketball coach at Molloy in 1958 and got both jobs till his death.
His teams won 22 Catholic school New York City championships, 5 in basketball and 17 in baseball. Four times — in 1969, 1973, 1974 and 1987 — Molloy won both in the same year. Curran coached Brian Winters, Kenny Smith, Kenny Anderson and Kevin Joyce, all of whom played in the N.B.A. The current Mets outfielder Mike Baxter played baseball at Molloy for Curran.
Over all, Curran’s record was 972-437 as a basketball coach and 1,708-523 as a baseball coach, the school said. “He won everything except World War III,” Carnesecca, who spent 24 seasons as the head coach at St. John’s said in a 2008 interview. “No one in the country has Jack’s record in both sports, no one.”
Facts about Curran are sketchy; he is believed to have graduated from All Hallows High School in the Bronx and went on to St. John’s, where he studied English and pitched for the baseball team. He played minor league baseball, pitching for teams in the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies organizations for three years.
“Yes, but he was rarely profane or abusive,” said Tom Konchalski, a friend and a widely acknowledged expert on scholastic basketball in New York City. “In 55 years he only had four or five technicals. But yeah, all the top coaches, you try to win the game, so you ride the refs.”
“He was the most selfless man I knew,” the Mets’ Baxter said. “He was so faithful and he just cared so much about the kids on his team, both on and off the court and the field. It really separated him; whether you were playing for him as a junior or senior or whether you were in college or looking for jobs, he would make sure to help you anyway he could. That never stopped to the last day.”