Hey, guys. We lost a loyal member and friend of the blog a couple of weeks ago. Old Coach 92 passed away.
I knew him as more than that. His name was John Rostawanik, and he was a hockey coach and a life-long Rangers dieheard. He coached at Woodlands High in Hartsdale for seven years, but he was also an assistant coach at Suffern High when it became the only team from this area — still — to win a state ice hockey championship in 1992. Hence the screen name.
Old Coach passed away a couple of weeks ago, on the day Suffern would go on to win its sectional semifinal over Mahopac. This weekend, Suffern goes to Utica for the state final four, hoping to bring home a second state championship (and Pelham goes for one, too, in Division II).
“We have an angel on our side,” said Old Coach’s son, John Rostawanik Jr., who is an assistant on the current Suffern team.
John Sr. grew up in Staten Island and had season tickets, which he gave up as he raised his family in Rockland. After the lockout, Old Coach had retired, and decided to become a season subscriber again.
“He was like a kid in a candy shop, so excited for every game,” said John Jr.
At a game this season, Old Coach was chosen to be honored, as the Garden does with season subscribers, and the photo above was taken at center ice. That’s Old Coach, John Sr. on the left, his son John in the middle, his brother Bob on the right, and grandson Jake in front.
We will miss you, Old Coach 92. Good luck, Suffern and Pelham.