One of my favorite high school coaches and teachers passed away this morning. Dr. Eugene Moran. He always chastised me when I addressed him by Dr. and really preferred being called Coach or Rocky.
I have so many fond memories about the times in Coach Moran’s class and on the ball field. Most teachers and coaches probably never realize the positive impact they have on their students and players. Coach Moran – along with others at NHS – had a profound impact on my life. At so many decision points in my life I have been able to look back at the principles that he taught us all – simple principles but nonetheless profound principles.
– Hard work is necessary for success
– Be Joyful in whatever you do
– Be kind and considerate to your classmates and teammates
– Strategy is necessary to diagram a sentence or score a run
– Friendship is important
– Team building
Some of my fondest memories are from the lessons I learned from him as a coach on the baseball field. Fundamentals, he taught, wins games. So at practice we bunted, ran the bases and had sliding practice. He taught us that smart playing, not just hitting, scored runs. Defense won games. Many of our games were 2-1 or 3-2 wins. If a player missed sliding practice, like his favorite first baseman, he did not start the next game. He had the ability to make everyone a better player and contribute to the team. We always had fun, because of his engaging personality and winning ways. The product was a Bi-County Championship – the equivalent of a state championship as there were no state playoffs in those days.
Coach Moran and his colleagues -Mann, McNeilis, Edwards, Gallagher and many others – were a very close nit group of friends who enjoyed their work and play to the utmost. By their example they passed on the value of friendship and joyful living.
I discussed with THE COACH on numerous occasions the remarkable goodness of the teachers and students at our school, Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, MD. Certainly, our parents were a big factor, but he as a teacher was a significant part of the puzzle of success.
My wife Sandy, who absolutely adored Dr. Moran, and I would look forward to his personal Christmas Note every year. I would later find out that he wrote a personal note to many of his students and baseball players. He will surely be missed by his family, friends , students and players, but his example will live on forever in our hearts and lives as we attempt to pass it along.
I am so Thankful for all Dr. Eugene Moran did for me in those years. My hope is that I can pass a little of it on to the next generations.