Connie McGillicuddy

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High School Coach

For the most part, the biggest headlines in sports are reserved for the swiftest and the strongest athletes and for the winning teams. But there are hundreds of unsung heroes behind the scenes, especially in interscholastic sports. A giant among them is former Canisius High School coach, Connie McGillicuddy who has positively influenced the lives of many young people in Western New York. For nearly a half a century, he taught youngsters character, discipline, sportsmanship, as well as the fundamentals of sports. In the process, he molded champions as well as good citizens.

A graduate of Canisius himself, McGillicuddy earned a bachelor’s degree from Holy Cross in 1943 and returned to Canisius where he taught Latin and math, and coached baseball, football, and basketball. He coached the three sports for a combined total of more than 60 years. During his long tenure, his teams won six baseball titles, seven league basketball titles and amassed over 700 victories.

As a teacher and as a coach, Connie was highly respected by students, players, and his colleagues. “He was always a class act,” said one former student. “Everybody wanted to play for him. In class, he was a good teacher. He always treated you with respect and he always made time for you whether you were a player or a student.”

Such devotion to duty represents the best athletics has to offer. the character-building aspects that enable young people to lead successful lives. And today, legions of former Canisius students are pulling their weight and making a contribution to society, thanks in large part to the tireless dedication of Connie McGillicuddy, teacher, coach and hero.