May 11, 2014 at 7:04 PM
Gene Chyzowych, the Columbia High School boys soccer coach who retired last year after 50 seasons, died on Saturday at the age of 78 after a prolonged illness.
Coach Chyzowych notched 757 wins with the CHS soccer team, which ranks second in New Jersey and third in the nation all-time. He also coached the CHS girls volleyball team from 1977-1988 and compiled a remarkable 227-match winning streak. He also coached the U.S. Men's National soccer team in 1973.
In January, Chyzowych was honored as the 2014 recipient of the Walt Chyzowych Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention in Philadelphia. Named for Gene’s brother Walt, the award is presented annually by the Walt Chyzowych Memorial Fund, which was founded after Walt’s 1994 passing to honor his memory and legacy as the U.S. National Team coach and U.S. Soccer director of coaching.
Over the years, the Walt Chyzowych Memorial Fund had asked Gene to accept the award, but he had humbly turned down the honor in favor of “those more worthy.” This year, however, on the 20th anniversary of Walt’s passing and with his decision to retire, Gene finally accepted.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Quinn Hopping Funeral Home, 145 E Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Livingston. A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Saint John's Ukrainian Catholic Church, 60 North Jefferson Road, Whippany.