Legendary coach Bill Horey remembered

GRHS graduates and relatives who attended the scoreboard dedication for John Horey included, from left, John Kepner, Bill Stableford, Bob Courter, Horey’s daughter, Marci Horey Kolitsch, Tom McCann, Richard Branca, Horey’s son and grandson, Mark and Jon, and George Henningsen.

GLEN RIDGE, NJ — On Friday, May 3, the scoreboard at Hurrell Field was dedicated to former football coach Bill Horey, who had compiled a 147-35-3 record from 1956 to 1978 and had eight undefeated seasons. Horey also coached the track and field team to 10 Group I championships.

The Freeman Field House Renovation Project, co-chaired by Tania Liddy and Ellen Auborn, had been contacted by the Coach Bill Horey Alumni Group with an offer to raise $50,000 toward its renovation project in exchange for naming the scoreboard for Horey. The alumni group included Glen Ridge High School graduates George Henningsen, Class of ’63; John Kepner, Class of ’64; Richard Branca, Class of ’65; Tom McCann, Class of ’65; Bob Courter, Class of ’65, and Bill Stableford, Class of ’65.
The offer was accepted and the fundraising began in January 2018. By July, the goal was reached with 120 contributors. A plaque honoring Horey has been installed at the scoreboard.

Renovations to the Freeman Field House began in summer 2017. It had been anticipated that remodeling would require a lengthy period of time while funds were solicited from residents, GRHS alumni and local businesses and organizations to supplement borough assistance.

For Phase I of the renovation, metal lockers were replaced with open, wooden cubicles with drying racks for helmets and shoulder pads. At the time, Liddy and Auborn said the locker room would be used by various sports teams. Additional upgrades were then made to the bathrooms, women’s locker and training rooms, field house exterior, basement, visitors’ locker room and bathroom, and second floor office.

Councilman Dan Murphy ran the quarter-mile on Horey-coached teams. He was on the mile relay team that set the unbroken school record in 1974. Murphy also won the 1973 and 1974 state Group I quarter-mile races.

“Bill Horey loved track and field and took a personal approach to coaching whereby he would hand write track workouts for his athletes,” he said in an email. “Under his leadership, our track team won both the conference and state Group I championships in 1974.”

Liddy said the work that remains is the restoration of the exterior entrance to its original style with columns. The committee, she said, was also working with the borough to complete the renovation of the girls’ bathroom and shower area and those final requests and touches as determined by donors, who will be able to use the new space regularly for various events and activities.

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