Former Boyertown Basketball Coach Scores a Spot in Berks Basketball Hall of Fame


Photo: Mike Drago Sports; posted on Boyertown Athletics on Facebook.

by Lesley Misko

Jack McCloskey, former long-time Boyertown Area Senior High (BASH) boys’ basketball coach, has been posthumously elected to the Berks Basketball Hall of Fame. McCloskey is one of eight, whose induction will be formalized Feb. 16 at the Berks Girls Basketball League final at Santander Arena in Reading, PA.

Boyertown Athletics announced the news on Facebook and reaction was plentiful. Mary Lou Reinert Renninger wrote, “Way overdue! One great guy and coach!” Joseph Strohl, who played ball for McCloskey, said, “Long overdue! Happy to see ‘Coach’ get what he absolutely deserved. Great man and great family!” Patricia Renninger spoke for many, saying, “It’s about time.”

During two coaching stints at Boyertown, first from 1973 to 1980, and then again, from 1987-1990, McCloskey brought “basketball fever” to BASH, as he coached the Bears to the 1977 Ches-Mont Champion title and later, the 1989 Bears to Berks County Runner Up. Prior to his BASH years, McCloskey coached North Schuylkill High from 1968 to 1973, guiding them to two North Schuylkill League titles.

McCloskey’s coaching career took a new direction after his 1997 retirement from the Boyertown Area School District, where he was also a well-respected Social Studies teacher. He joined the staff of Alvernia University from 1991 to 2004 and won 227 games, the record for highest recorded wins for the men's basketball program. He also ranked in the top 50 in career winning percentage in Division III. He won PA Athletic Conference championship titles in 2000 and 2003. He was named coach of the year of the PAC in 1997 and led Alvernia to the NCAA playoffs in 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2003. McCloskey passed away in 2012 and the following year, Alvernia dedicated the floor of the basketball court to him, officially naming it Jack McCloskey Court.

Facebook comments also praised McCloskey as a teacher and as a person. Vickie Bernhard commented, “Great teacher. Long overdue,” and Donna Ludwig praised McCloskey as “One of the best teachers I had.”

A 1960 graduate of Central Catholic High School and 1964 graduate of Kutztown University, McCloskey is survived by his wife Margaret and his son John, and several grandchildren.

[Photo: Mike Drago Sports; from Boyertown Athletics on Facebook.]

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