RYE, N.Y. – The influence of legendary high school coach Jack Curran could be felt as hundreds packed into the Church of the Resurrection in Rye for his funeral Wednesday.
The service was celebrated by the Rev. Frank Shannon, a graduate of Archbishop Molloy High School, where Curran coached basketball and baseball for 55 years.
“He had a great influence on an incredible number of kids. He was like a father to so many of us,” Shannon said of Curran. “You made our four years an incredible four years, but you made us people that would go out into life and really be ready to enjoy it and live it to the fullest.”
Curran's nephew also offered words of remembrance at the service.
“In the last four days, I’ve had four incredible men tell me that Jack was the father they never had,” said Curran’s nephew, Andrew. “I’ve had other remark that he was their second, though they had a wonderful father of their own. And I’ve had many men say to me that without him they would not know where they’d be, for in their words, he saved their lives.”
Curran's close friend Bobby Crimmins remembered his devotion to everything in his life.
“There’s one word that defines Coach Curran: devotion. Devotion to his faith, his family, Molloy High School, All Hallows High School, and of course, his players and his friends,” said Crimmins, a former Georgia Tech basketball coach. “After watching Coach Curran practice, I knew right away I wanted to be a coach. Coach Curran took me under his wing and gave me tremendous guidance in becoming a head coach.”
Former NBA player Kenny Smith played under Curran during his time at Archbishop Molloy. Smith talked about how he often spent six or seven hours a day with his coach.
“During that time I learned how to be a better basketball player, how to be a better person, how to be a good dad, everything,” he said. “I think that when someone believes in you, loves you, nurtures you, looks out for you in your time of need and in your time of triumph, that’s family. So I consider myself Mr. Curran’s family.”
Smith fought back tears when he talked about how his wife wanted to name their son Molloy in honor of his alma mater.
“It hit my heart, because she liked the name Molloy. But in my mind, I was naming my son after him.”