Edward Joseph Fennelly ’47, "Coach Fennelly," 84, passed away on July 23, 2009 in Paso Robles, Calif. Ed was born in Oakland, Calif., on September 16, 1924 to Edward and Martha Fennelly. He attended St. Elizabeth’s grammar school and went on to begin his outstanding athletic background at St. Joseph’s High School in Alameda. He remains a legend to this day in Pilot annals, garnering honors in basketball, baseball, and track. During both his junior and senior seasons, the Pilots basketball team was Catholic Athletic League Champions (1941-1942). In 1942 Ed led St. Joseph’s to a record 17 game league winning streak and an undefeated season. He was awarded All League and All Alameda County Selection in both those years as well as being the second leading scorer in the CAL in 1942, when he was Team Captain. During World War II, while in the U.S. Marine Corps, he was assigned to the V-12 Marine Officers Training program at the College of the Pacific in Stockton, where he further enhanced his athletic fame, starring for the Tigers in both Football and Basketball. His 1944 basketball team was one of the best in the history of COP. After Japan surrendered, he returned home and continued his education, attending University of Santa Clara as a junior on a basketball scholarship. He was a starter on the famed Bronco basketball team that in his senior year compiled a record setting season of 21-4 in 1947, beating Cal, USC and UCLA in the same week. After graduating from Santa Clara, Ed joined the initial faculty at the newly opened Riordan High School in the fall of 1949. While teaching business and math courses, he was the first coach for the Riordan Crusaders football, baseball, basketball, and track teams, and a cross country mentor also. Ed was called back to the Marines during the Korean conflict, reaching the rank of 1st Lieutenant. In 1952 he was relieved from active duty and discharged with honors. He then returned to Riordan to continue his teaching and coaching career. Coach Fennelly had an impressive record, with the baseball team finishing 2nd in its first year. The Varsity basketball team never finished lower than 3rd in the 8 years he was at the helm. In his longest coaching stint, Ed’s track and field teams took seven league championships in his 10 years, while his cross country teams won 3 CAL titles. Ed met the love of his life, Ann "Nancy" McEntee at a school dance around Christmas in 1949. They were married in August of 1950, and their first home was a small apartment below the Brother’s residence at Riordan. In 1957 Ed started Riordan’s golf team, and in 1958 started a swimming team. In 1958, Ed retired from coaching and became the director of athletics at Riordan, becoming the school’s first lay director. Surrounded by boys all day, Ed and Nancy were thrilled when they were blessed with two daughters, his "little dolls," Geralyn in 1960 and Kristin in 1962. Ed held this position of Riordan’s Director of Athletics until 1965, when he accepted the position of Assistant Commissioner for the Catholic Athletic League. In 1967 the West Catholic Athletic League was founded, realigning the East and West Bay schools, and Ed became the league’s first Commissioner. Through his guidance and leadership, the WCAL became the most esteemed, prestigious prep organization in the state. In 1970, Ed became business manager of Riordan, again, being the first layman to serve in this capacity at a high school in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. At Riordan’s 25th Anniversary celebration, he was given the distinct honor of receiving a Proclamation from then San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto. Ed retired from full-time education in 1989, after 40 years of teaching and service to Riordan High School. At his retirement celebration, Ed was presented with a Resolution from the Honorable Quentin Kopp, in which he was recognized for his outstanding contributions and inspirations to the youth entrusted to his care, and for being a true example of all educators throughout the Bay Area. He continued to serve the WCAL and, through the league, the Central Coast Section, until his retirement in May of 1996. Ed lived with his wife in San Bruno for 30 years, where they were active in their church parish of St. Roberts. In 1981, they moved to San Carlos, where they would live for 24 years. Again, they were active members of their church parish, St. Charles, and would eventually gather there with family and friends to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in August of 2000. In his retirement Ed enjoyed playing tennis and golf, spending time with his two grandchildren, and traveling with Nancy, including trips to Ireland to visit family and celebrate their proud heritage. Ed was a true gentleman with a quiet strength. He was known to be firm when necessary, gracious always and beloved by many. He was widely respected as an outstanding athlete, inspirational and superior teacher and coach. Former students recall him being strict yet fair, along with his incredible wit. He was a gifted administrator, admired for his consistent and high standards. He will always be remembered for his passion for his work, and his positive impact on the people around him. Ed was preceded in death by his wife Nancy, on April 18, 2003, and his brother, Thomas Fennelly. He is survived by daughters Geralyn Fennelly, of Los Angeles, CA, daughter and son-in-law Kristin and Scott Miller of Paso Robles, grandchildren Melissa and Donny Miller, and sisters Patricia Geiger and Kathleen Henry.

08 Nov 2018