Hoop Holiness

Molloy’s Legendary Coach Curran

"We knew Jack would be a great coach," said Carnesecca, a lifelong friend. "But he's become more than a great coach, he's become one of the great treasures of New York City."

Curran, voted Coach of the Decade for 1980 to 1990 by local sportswriters, entered this season having amassed an eyebrow-raising 791 victories against 250 losses.

Named the CHSAA Coach of the Year 20 times throughout his amazing career, Curran and his Stanners once owned the extremely competitive Catholic league. During one dominant stretch, Molloy reeled off 51 consecutive victories in league play.

Marlon Smith: Curran’s next contender?
photo: Pete Kuhns
Marlon Smith: Curran’s next contender?

While Curran's name has been synonymous with hoops for five decades, he has fared even better as Molloy's baseball coach, chalking up over 1200 victories on the diamond en route to 15 city championships. On four different occasions, he won CHSAA city championships in both sports during the same year.

"No one in the country has his record in both sports—no one," said Carnesecca. "Those numbers are a tribute to Jack as a coach, a tribute to him as an excellent technician. He knows his sports, and he's very thorough and extremely dedicated."

Back in 1987, when Kenny Anderson was dribbling his way out of the Lefrak City projects in Queens, the young point guard huffed and puffed off the court after one of Molloy's long practices. With Curran's voice still ringing in his ears, Anderson caught his breath, and shared a little of the secret to his coach's success.

"Coach always stresses the negative," said Anderson. "When you make a great move, he tells you what you did wrong."

Throughout the years, Curran has been offered numerous coaching jobs at the collegiate level. The closest he came to leaving Molloy was in 1969, when former Boston Celtic great Bob Cousy left his head coaching post at Boston College. Curran was interviewed for the job and became BC's first choice.

"I thought about it," said Curran.

But the old professor decided to stay.

And the rest, of course, is New York City history.

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