MAHOPAC, N.Y. – The Mahopac community showed their love for a trio of coaching legends last Friday night (Feb. 7) during a moving ceremony at halftime of the Mahopac vs. Brewster boys basketball game on Senior Night.
Former coach and athletic director, Gerry Keevins, had the school‘s fitness center named after him, and former coach Joe Corace and current veteran coach Vin Collins were both inducted into Mahopac’s Hall of Fame.
A packed gymnasium—including former athletes who played under the trio, current and former coaches, family members and a large contingent of players from the Mercy College women’s team Corace’s currently coaches—showered the trio with love, as they were each introduced by Athletic Director Frank Miele.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Keevins said following the ceremony, as he admired the fitness center with his family surrounding him. “I spent over 35 years here, coaching gymnastics, football, then as athletic director, and I’m happy to have had a hand in developing this facility, the fields, the lights, the turf, the fitness center, the new gym—and developing the football program. The strength program was a major part of it, including in girls sports. So I’m very proud of it, and very thankful. Tonight was a great tribute, and I’m very thankful for it.”
Corace and Collins were also visibly moved by the honor, and the turnout of current and former players and coaches.
“It’s really overwhelming,” Corace said, after his plaque was placed in the Hall of Fame. “I can’t believe all the alumni who have come back. And the girls I coach now at Mercy, they came over. It’s just an awesome night, and a lot of emotions. It’s just tremendous… it really makes you feel like all the hours you put in are worth it.”
Collins said of being honored, “It’s not necessary, but it’s appreciated. When you start coaching, this is not your goal. I am fortunate—with the support of my family. Mahopac is a great place, I’ve worked with some great mentors, some great coaches, and it’s truly an honor tonight.”
Collins has coached, and continues to coach, and taught at Mahopac for more than 40 years. He started a 41-year run as gymnastics coach in 1979, and has been an integral part of the football program as well.
Collins-led teams have won four Section 1 championships and 12 Divisional titles. He’s been named Section 1 Coach of the Year six times, and has been Section 1 Gymnastics Coordinator since 1993.
Corace coached lacrosse (boys and girls) for 27 years (and is in his 40th year of coaching). He led Mahopac teams to four Section 1 titles, and one New York State championship with the boys team. Corace is a three-time Coach of the Year, and a member of the Hudson Valley Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Keevins had a 36-year career at Mahopac, ending in 2003. Keevins coached football from 1971-2003, compiling a record of 154-74-4, winning nine league titles, and making playoff appearances in all but one season. He was named MSG Coach of the Year in 1984, and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.