Now in its 17th year of running, the Coaches Hall of Fame Invitational Presented by NYRR continues to be one of the largest and most prestigious meets on The Armory’s high school calendar. The event is headlined by the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on the center of the infield, where five coaches will be honored for their contributions to the sport of track and field and the lives of their student-athletes. Let’s meet this year’s inductees, and be sure to join us on Saturday, December 17th as we celebrate these remarkable men and women.
Malcolm Burks (Newburgh Free Academy): Now in his 20th season coaching at Newburgh, Burks’ athletes have achieved 221 All-American honors, 31 New York state titles, and 12 national championships. Burks previously served in the US military, coaching the Army’s track & field team in the European Theater. In 2017, Burks was named the NY State Boys Coach of the Year. Burks is a member of the NAACP, and he is known for his volunteer work in the Hudson Valley area. He considers his greatest accomplishment to be the fact that 98 percent of the student-athletes he has coached have gone on to attend college.
George Calano (Collegiate School): Calano was the longtime coach at Collegiate for over 40 years, winning nearly 50 league championships during his tenure. After retiring from coaching, Calano served as a coordinator for the New York State Association of Independent Schools, pushing these schools to the forefront athletically. He was also instrumental in the development of the indoor Ivy League Prep Championship. Calano passed away in July, and he is remembered and missed by all of those whom he impacted during his career.
Alan Coles (Jamaica HS): Coles coached at Jamaica HS from 1986 until 2012, winning 22 Queens borough champiosnhips, as well as five PSAL city titles. He began his coaching career in 1975, starting out at Malverne HS, his alma mater, before developing a nationally ranked program at Maria Regina HS. Coles also started his own AAU team, the Long Island United Track Club, which he led until 2000. After departing from Jamaica, Coles retired to Florida, but he continues to coach at Mandarin Middle School, where his teams have won five Duval County championships.
Rich Degnan (Massapequa HS & Island Trees HS): Degnan has coached the boys team at Massapequa since 2007, and the girls team at Island Trees since 2010. He was named the NSAF National Coach of the Year in 2019. Degnan…