Former SUNY Oswego soccer coach happy to sing a capella at local nursing homes
A. I was born on Oct. 18, 1922. I graduated from Port Richmond High School in Staten Island, and then went to SUNY Cortland, where I got my bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Q. How long did you coach soccer at SUNY Oswego?
A. I started in about 1950 and stayed with the team until 1966 when we won the state title, which was the first and only time that Oswego soccer won. I will be inducted into the SUNY Oswego Hall of Fame on October 25. Before that, I coached at Middleburg Central School.
Q. What was your experience like at Middleburg?
A. At Middleburg I coached soccer, basketball and baseball. In basketball I took two teams to the playoffs in Saratoga. My record in soccer was 60-6 over a period of seven years, we were very successful.
Q. What attracted you to coaching?
A. Oswego was looking for a coach in 1957 when I got here, and so I was interviewed and accepted the position in the health and physical education department. What I really enjoyed about coaching was the challenge. Our first year was a losing season. The next nine years, however, were winning seasons. Winning the state title in 1966 was the capstone of all we had worked for. I really enjoyed working with the young men on the team.
Q. What sports did you participate in as a college athlete?
A. I played baseball at SUNY Cortland from 1945 to 1948, and I also played soccer from 1945 to 1946.
Q. You are also in the Hall of Fame at Cortland.
A. I was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Cortland in 1984 for volunteerism and community involvement.
Q. What made you decide to stay in Oswego after you retired from coaching?
A. It was my home, and I had made the choice to attain my degree at the time.
Q. What did you want to teach after getting your degree?
A. I had quite an interest in substance and narcotic misuse. My expertise was in substance abuse, and I taught several drug study courses. After a few years of teaching, Governor Rockefeller appointed me as director of professional education for the Narcotic Addiction Control Commission (NACC) in Albany. This was in 1968 during my sabbatical leave, and I had to move to Albany temporarily for the job. I also taught as a visiting scholar for St. Lawrence University and SUNY Potsdam.
Q. What else have you done as far as substance misuse research?
A. I wrote a book called “Neurotransmitters, Drugs and Stress,” and also some health related articles.
Q. What kind of topics do you cover in the book?
A. I put the book together because of my experience with narcotics studies. It has to deal with not medicinal drugs, but drugs of abuse. I interviewed many people who were addicted to cocaine, heroin and other drugs. At the time, it was a new look at illegal drugs and how they effect neurotransmitters, or the chemicals in our brains.
Q. What was your experience like in the military?
A. I was a member of the 9th Marine Regiment, part of the 3rd Marine Division. My focus was on communications, and I worked with many Native Americans, who used their own language to communicate in order to confuse the Japanese. I was in the Marines from 1943-1944, and the only battle I was associated with was in Guam. I went home after being wounded in action with a blast concussion from a mortar shell.
Q. When did you decide to retire from teaching?
A. I retired in 1985, but I continued with substance abuse studies after this. In 1988, I conducted a substance abuse workshop in the West Indies for the Pan American Health Association.
Q. Now that you’re retired, what do you do to keep busy?
A. I help out with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) by volunteering to entertain by singing a capella in all nursing homes in Oswego County. I received a plaque at RSVP’s Annual Luncheon in 2007 for 430 hours of community service.
Q. How did you get involved with singing?
A. I was visiting my son and daughter-in-law in Hawaii a while ago, and I started singing at a club there. We had two blind piano players at the club, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. They told me that I should keep up with my singing, so when I came back I decided to volunteer at the nursing homes. This was in 1997, and since then, I have done 1,040 shows.