Kerry Moran, a longtime teacher and cross-country coach at Whitman High School and St. Anthony’s in Huntington and longtime North Fork resident, died Sept. 14. He was 68.
The former coach and educator was critically injured in July 2010 by being struck by a car near his home in Northville.
Born in Quincy, Mass., on March 24, 1943, Moran grew up in Queens, graduating from Bishop Loughlin High School and St. John's University, where he met his wife, Bernadette. They were married in 1968.
Moran began his career teaching English and coaching track in the Bronx before coming to Long Island, where he taught English and coached for many years at Walt Whitman High School and St. Anthony’s until retiring to the North Fork in 2004.
"He was my cross-country coach in high school from 1978 to '79 and was a great soul," said Dan McGurn, now a part-time Southold resident. "He touched hundreds if not thousands of lives as a teacher, coach and mentor."
St. Anthony’s Athletic Director Don Buckley recalled on Friday how Moran ended up at St. Anthony’s. “I needed a cross-country coach and so I called him up – we were friends.”
Buckley was hoping for a recommendation. “[Moran] said, ‘Let me think about it.’ Then he called me up the next day and said, ‘I may have somebody. I’ll bring the person in.’ He comes into my office. I say, ‘Did you bring someone with you?’ And he says, ‘Yeah, I’m the person.’
I stood up and shook his hand and said, ‘You’re the coach of St. Anthony’s.’”
Moran was the girls cross-country coach at St. Anthony’s for 15 seasons.
“He was a wonderful man, an incredible motivator,” Buckley said. “He had a place in his heart for every kid. His crowning achievement, one of his last years, he had 100 girls on the team. He was very proud of that.”
His son, Matthew Moran, a 1993 graduate of St. Anthony’s, followed in his father’s footsteps and was also a cross-country coach at St. Anthony’s from 1998-2000. Both father and son were named in 1999 as New York State Catholic High School Cross Country Coaches of the Year.
Peter Flannery wrote Friday in an online support group of Moran’s “great legacy as a husband, a family man, a teacher, a coach...I will not forget his calm, steady, yet strong manner - he was a true gentleman.”
Another parent of a former St. Anthony cross-country athlete reminisced online Friday about the “dedication, devotion and love Mr. Moran had for his team members. He had a way of making each and every one of them feel inspired to do their best. My daughter, to this day, talks about her days spent with coach Moran - and that was a good 15 years ago.”
After retiring from coaching and moving to Northville Beach in 2005, Moran turned his focus to environment and his community. He was elected president of the Northville Beach Civic Association and worked to address flooding issues in Northville near the North Fork Preserve. In a 2009 article on possible water contamination in the area, Moran was concerned with environmental issues, including properties affected by flooding, road damage, noxious odors and brown staining on the Long Island Sound Beach. He lobbied town, county and state officials for years to work together to find a solution to this complex issue, which is ongoing.
McGurn said Kerry truly loved the North Fork and the environment.
"I had hoped to have many glasses of red with him in the future," he said.
Kerry Moran is survived by his wife, Bernadette; children Kieran, Matthew and Brigid; a sister, Kathleen Brown and five grandchildren.
Visiting Hours were held this past Saturday and Sunday at in Mattituck. Interment was held at St. Isidore’s Cemetery in Riverhead.