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March 14, 2013Tweet
On Wednesday, high school basketball and baseball lost one of its legends. Jack Curran, the head coach at Archbishop Molloy HS died at the age of 82 in his Rye, NY home.
The news came after Curran's current basketball season was cut short due to a fall outside his home en route to church.
Coach Curran's Hall of Fame career spans 55 years where he amassed more baseball and basketball wins than any other high school coach. Named Coach of the Year 22 times in basketball by the CHSAA and won titles simultaneously in baseball and basketball four times in three different decades. Curran coached former NBA players including Kenny Smith, Kenny Anderson and Sundiatta Gaines as well as numerous colleges players including Louisville's Russ Smith. Mets outfielder Mike Baxter played baseball at Molloy for Curran.
Kenny Smith, who's now and analyst on TNT tweeted, "Thank you all for acknowledgement of the passing of one of the most influential men in my life! RIP JACK CURRAN."
"He use to say, basketball is like life," said Gaines. "You have your good and bad ones but if you don't have the right fundamentals, you hinder your success as well as your team."
Anderson, a former NBA all-star, said he was too distraught to talk but tweeted, "I truly loved and always my high school coach Jack Curran. [He] taught me how to be a leader at 15 years old."
Russ Smith said, "He was the pope of HS basketball" and added on his facebook page, "Rest in Peace to my Friend, Coach, Brother, Father, Advisor, Wizard, Teacher, Helper, Wiseman and those words are just understatements of how great of a man he really is. I couldn't focus all morning because of his passing."
Curran grew up in the Bronx, NY, attended All Hallows HS where he graduated in 1948. Afterwards he went to St. John's University, playing both basketball and baseball. In 1958, he replaced Lou Carnesecca as head coach for the Molloy Stanners when the Red Storm tapped Carnesecca for an assistant coaching spot. The rest is history; 972 wins in basketball and 1,708 wins in baseball and the only high school coach elected into both the basketball and baseball Hall of Fame.
"As a coach, Jack Curran's record speaks for itself," said Carnesecca. "I can't think of anyone in high school sports that had the record that he had in both baseball and basketball. The individuals that he produced at Molloy form an outstanding group, and he went out of his way to help so many over the years that were not from Molloy. Jack Curran was a giant of scholastic athletics, and that is an understatement."
Even in his eighties, Curran successfully coached the Molloy Stanners to an impressive 19-8 record this season, defeating powerhouse Bishop Loughlin twice during the regular season. Curan broke his right kneecap when he fell and was unable to coach; Molloy lost in CHSAA Quarterfinals.
It is unclear what the exact cause of death was. Curran had been receiving treatment for and recovering from lung cancer.
New York NEWS