The CHSAA hosted its 34th annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony and golf outing May 30 at the Inwood Country Club near John F. Kennedy International Airport. This year’s class was made up of the following eight deserving inductees who have dedicated their lives to the local Catholic sports scene.
Bob McLaughlin started teaching freshmen and sophomore math at Fordham Prep, the Bronx, in September 1991. He was head coach of the junior varsity baseball that fall and spring and varsity wrestling that winter.
The following year, he moved up to the varsity baseball team as an assistant coach and continued in that position until 1997. He was later head coach of the varsity wrestling team, 1991-2000, and 1995-1998, Fordham Prep’s varsity wrestling team won four consecutive CHSAA city championships.
In addition to coaching wrestling, basketball and baseball at the Prep, McLaughlin held the position of chairman of the Archdiocese of New York’s CHSAA wrestling league. He also served at Fordham Prep’s athletic director for 15 years.
After graduating from St. Joseph’s College Brooklyn, Clinton Hill, in 1989, Chris Hardardt immediately returned to his high school alma mater, Christ the King H.S., Middle Village, as a social studies teacher and junior varsity football coach. Two years later, he became head football coach and led a transformation of the program over the next eight seasons.
In 1996, the Royals went undefeated in the regular season and qualified for the ‘AAA’ playoffs for the first time in school history, advancing to the CHSFL ‘AAA’ semifinals. In 1997, Christ the King returned to the ‘AAA’ playoffs for the second season in a row.
In January 1999, Hardardt was named the athletic director at Holy Trinity H.S., Hicksville, L.I. He currently serves as President of the CHSFL, a title he’s held for the past 11 years. He was inducted into the GCHSAA Hall of Fame in 2018.
Paul Thomas ran cross-country and played rugby and basketball at Archbishop Stepinac H.S., White Plains, N.Y., before graduating in 1980. While a student a Manhattan College, the Bronx, he coached Stepinac’s junior varsity basketball team.
He spent 19 years teaching math and coaching freshmen basketball and freshmen football at Mount St. Michael Academy, the Bronx. He took home three CHSAA ‘A’ Division titles in basketball.
Thomas also has been the publisher and editor of the CHSAA basketball play- off journal, as well as an umpire and administrator for the Catholic league.
Tim Dearie has coached high school cross-country and track and field for 35 years – 22 at St. Anthony’s H.S., South Huntington, L.I., and 13 at Northport H.S., L.I. His Friars boys’ teams won five state federation cross-country championships, the most in boys’ meet history.
He also coached teams to 22 state CHSAA team championships and 43 Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA team championships. In his coaching tenure, 112 of his student-athletes were named All- Americans, and he was selected Coach of the Year 50 times by various local publications.
A 1981 graduate of Christ the King, Todd Jamison spent 25 years coaching basketball at Nazareth H.S., East Flatbush, with 21 of those as the head boys’ varsity coach. He is the all-time winningest coach in Kingsmen history.
His teams won three city championships, two state titles and five division titles. He was inducted into Nazareth’s Hall of Fame in 2013 and was named Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2018.
Jamison is currently the assistant head coach of the Holy Cross H.S., Flushing, boys’ varsity hoops team.
Kevin Pigott has done it all in the CHSAA. He’s currently the president of the Archdiocesan league, a role he’s held for the past five years. He’s also served as secretary and basketball chairman.
Pigott has taught English at Fordham Prep since 1991. He was the head varsity basketball coach there from 1990-2014, head varsity tennis coach from 2004-2014 and crew faculty moderator from 2003- 2004. His tennis teams won three-straight CHSAA ‘A’ championships from 2012- 2014.
Pigott has also held a number of other high school and college coaching jobs at area schools.
Lou Baldassano graduated from Msgr. Farrell H.S., Staten Island, in 1973 and returned to his old stomping grounds six years later as a junior varsity football coach. He began teaching science at Msgr. Farrell in 1980.
He was a member of the football coaching staff, 1979-1991 and 1993-1995 while also serving as assistant athletic director from 1987-1992. In 1992, he was named director of athletics and served in that capacity until 2010. He also coached varsity golf from 2010-15.
Baldassano is a member of the CHSFL board of governors. In 2009, he was induct- ed into Msgr. Farrell’s Hall of Fame. He still volunteers at the school as an assistant golf coach.
After three years coaching junior varsity baseball at Archbishop Molloy H.S., Briarwood, Bob Lowenberg settled in for an impressive 19-year run as the head varsity baseball coach at Msgr. McClancy H.S., East Elmhurst, where his overall record was 232-149.
His teams made the playoffs 18 consecutive years and won two diocesan and two city championships. He was named Coach of the Year nine times.
Since leaving Msgr. McClancy, Lowenberg has been principal of St. Sebastian School, Woodside; St. Dominic H.S., Oyster Bay, L.I.; associate superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn; and principal of St. Nicholas of Tolentine Catholic Academy, Jamaica, which is his current position.
Contact Jim Mancari via email at email@example.com.