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John J. Nugent, 91, Former Rye School Athletic Director

John J. Nugent, for whom the stadium at Rye High School was named, passed away last week in Arizona at the age of 91.
John J. Nugent, for whom the stadium at Rye High School was named, passed away last week in Arizona at the age of 91. Photo Credit:

RYE, N.Y. -- Former Rye resident John J. Nugent died in Tuscon, Arizona on June 26 at the age of 91.

Nugent was born in Lawrence, Mass. on Oct. 27, 1921. He graduated from Ithaca College in 1950 and received a B.S. and M.S. degree. He spent 32 years teaching and coaching, and was the Director of Athletics and Physical Education in Rye schools from 1962 until his retirement in 1982. He moved to Tuscon in 1989.

He received the 1973 Westchester County Football Coach of the Year Award by Westchester/Rockland County Newspapers. He was nominated for the award nine times. In 1975 the New York Daily News named him the All Star Coach of the Year. In 1981 he received the Distinguished American Award from the Westchester Chapter of the National Football Foundation.

Following his retirement in 1982, the stadium field at Rye High School was named in his honor. He was inducted into the Westchester Sports Hall of Fame in 1994, and in 1999 was inducted into the Ithaca College Hall of Fame. His brother Tom, the former football coach for Florida State University and Maryland University, is also in the Ithaca Hall of Fame. They are the only brothers in the Hall of Fame.

Nugent is survived by his wife of 64 years, Jean; children: Susan Wolf, Eileen (Patrick) Finnegan, Mickey Nugent and Patrick (Michelle) Nugent; grandchildren: James Wolf, Kimberly (Bryan) Luisana, Bryan Wolf, Kevin (Sarah) Finnegan, Daniel Finnegan and Gabryella, Rodee, Ysabella and Jayden Nugent; great grandchildren: John and Mason Luisana.

A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 5 at Vistoso Funeral Home, 2285 E. Rancho Vistoso Blvd, Oro Valley, AZ 85755.

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