Eugene 'Gene' Chyzowych, who retired in 2013 as physical education teacher and soccer coach at Columbia High School in Maplewood, passed away on Saturday, May 10 due to illness. Chyzowych, who was 78. was employed by the South Orange Maplewood School District for over 50 years. Chyzowych, often referred to as 'Coach C' by students, received the Walt Chyzowych Lifetime Achievement Award in January from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Chyzowych also served as a girls volleyball coach at CHS, and was a coach for the the United States Men's Soccer National team.
Officials with the South Orange Maplewood School District are reacting to the passing of Chyzowych. In an email to Essex County Place, SOMSD Physical Education supervisor Judy LoBianco said, "There is a profound sadness and sense of loss for a man that had a giving heart and a caring soul. He taught for so many years because he loved his students and his work".
Columbia High School Athletics and Students Activities Director Larry Busichio told Essex County Place that, "we are deeply saddened by the passing of Coach C. Coach Chyzowych was a pioneer in the sport of soccer. It truly was his love. You're talking about a man who won over 700 games and basically help build high school soccer on the east coast. He was really the first high school coach to begin a feeder program from the rec level up to the high school. He was such a positive influence for so many people ranging close to 50 years at Columbia High School. Not only in soccer, but also in girls volleyball where he ran an undefeated record for close to 10 years. He loved to talk about coaching, and I always appreciated our talks over coffee when I became the baseball coach at Columbia. He didn't care what sport you were a part of, he loved to lend advice and loved sports in general. He was a pleasure to be around, and he will be missed".
On Columbia Cable Network Monday morning, CHS Interim Principal Kirk E. Smith told students that Chyzowych was "more than just a soccer coach, (and) more than just a teacher". Smith said that the school will conduct a moment of silence in remembrance of Chyzowych in the near future.
Visitation will take place today (Monday) from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at Quinn Hopping Funeral Home at 145 E. Mt. Pleasant Ave in Livingston. The funeral service will take place at 9am on Tuesday, May 13, at Saint John's Ukrainian Catholic Church, 60 North Jefferson Rd in Whippany.
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