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Scholastic Roundup: Jeff Schrier knows what a real coach needs to do

May 14, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Some coaches measure their success by their won-loss record.

“I’ve never measured myself by that standard,” said Jeff Schrier, the former Jefferson High and Tilden basketball coach. “I’ve been fortunate to have won a few hundred games in my career while compiling a winning percentage of close to eighty percent.”

Schrier said his success is measured by what kind of lives his players lead after leaving his program. “I’ve dismissed a captain from my team before his senior year because he chose to involve himself in behavior in the hallways that was detrimental to the team’s image during the off-season,” he said, “despite my warning him that I would not take him back on the team if such antics continued.”

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The Gary Sheares story is a prime example. He was a sophomore at Tilden during Schrier’s first year as head coach. “I remember him walking in my office with a team jersey,” Schrier said. “And he told me he found it in the hallway.”

As the story unfolds, Cleveland Woods, the team’ s starting 6-3 center told Schrier the jersey was stolen and it was the sophomore Sheares who fought the alleged crook for the uniform top.

“I knew I found my captain,” Schrier said. “That’s the kind of integrity you look for in a player and a person. I take no credit for developing that in Gary Sheares.”

As a postscript to the story, 35-years later that senior contacted his former coach on Facebook and thanked him for his influence on his life – and apologized for the stunt he pulled. Schrier said there is no need to identify him.
“I’m happy to report he’s highly successful in his field and I’ve always been proud of the way he developed as a player, but more importantly as a person.”

By the way, Cleveland Woods attended New Hampshire College and achieved NCAA II second team All-America recognition.

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Schrier named Sheares captain (1982-83) his junior year. “One time we were preparing to go against a tea with a very good full court press. We practiced breaking it by bringing the ball up the right side of the court where I deemed the weaker defender to be,” Schrier remembered. “When the game started, we ran the press break to perfection; but then, all of a sudden Gary started running it to the left, then to the right, then back to the left, each time to a different side.”

The coach asked what he was doing, and Sheares replied: “Coach, I know what I’m supposed to do, but you see, I’ve got two girlfriends here today and one is sitting on the left side of the court and one is on the right, so I’m trying to keep them both happy!”

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Did you know, when Irma Garcia was appointed Director of Athletics at St. Francis College in 2007, she became the country’s first Latina athletic director in NCAA Division I sports.

She was raised in a Catholic-Puerto Rican family in Brooklyn ad has seven siblings. After graduating St. Angela Hall High, she enrolled at St. Francis in 1976 and played basketball for the Terriers under then coach Dianne Nolan.

Upon graduation in 1980, Garcia taught physical education and coached girls’ basketball at St. Joseph by the Sea High School on Staten Island.

In 1988, she returned to be the head coach at St. Francis – after 11 seasons, she retired as a coach and assumed the role of associate athletics director.

For the 2014-15 academic year, Garcia was named NACWAA D1 (FCS) Administrator of the Year. The award was in part because of the Terriers success in Men’s Soccer (Northeast Conference Champions and NCAA Tournament Participants), Men’s Basketball (NEC Regular Season Champions and NIT Participants) and Women’s Basketball (NEC Champions and NCAA Tournament Participants).

St. Francis added women’s soccer and men’s volleyball in 2018 to the already 19 teams playing at St. Francis College.

During Garcia’s tenure as director of athletics the St. Francis College Athletics program changed their brand from St. Francis (NY) to St. Francis Brooklyn.

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Former Lafayette High basketball coach Gil Fershtman has been nominated to the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame…Glad to hear Les Pines, a member of the 1961-62 Lafayette High basketball team that placed third in the city, is recovering nicely from a rough stint with Covid-19…Les has been a long-time performer in the West 4th Street basketball summer league, will sit-out this season, we hear…

Sorry to learn the passing of former Tilden basketball captain, student leader and Scholar Athlete, Alanzo “Zo” George a native of the Island of St. Vincent.

Former Lafayette High basketball coach Ira Levine will remain retired…His name was tossed in the ring for the vacant head coaching position at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro…The Spartans recently elevated their assistant coach, Mike Jones to the head chair…former head coach Wes Miller was just hired as the new man at the University of Cincinnati.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected]

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