Coach Fred Ahart hold a basketball for his 1,000th win

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association recently announced its 2022 Hall of Fame Class, and leading the list is Roscoe's Fred Ahart, known simply as "Coach" to many in the area.

"This is truly a well deserved honor," Roscoe Central School Superintendent John Evans said. "Coach was an amazing person and it continues to amaze me the number of lives he had an impact on." 

Ahart, who will be inducted as an administrator, was a significant contributor to Section IX athletics as well as a well respected athletic director and varsity basketball and football coach at Roscoe Central School District from 1969 to 2020, NYSPHSAA said in a media release announcing the inductees. Ahart passed away in July 2020.

At the state level, Ahart served the NYSPHSAA Boys Basketball Committee as the Section IX coordinator from 1996 to 2020. 

In Section IX, he was president from 1994 to 1996, chairman of the Eligibility Committee from 1986 to 2020, and served on the Athletic Council for 40 years.

Ahart was instrumental in developing mergers in the section, working with athletic directors and schools to bring together neighboring districts to support each other, the release said. His contributions to Section IX and Roscoe earned him a number of recognitions including the NYSAAA Athletic Administrator of the Year award in 1993 and 2018, and the Dr. William Moran Service Award from Section IX.

As a coach, Ahart earned 142 wins on the gridiron with a Class D school and won four Section IX championships, two Western Sullivan League titles and four Division Championships.

His impact in basketball was even bigger. Ahart made an even greater impact in basketball, leading Roscoe to 484 wins, four section titles, five league titles and one Orange County Division championship.

He was named Section IX Coach of the Year in 2009 by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York  and inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. BCANY also honored Ahart with the Coach Glen McGinnis Dedication Award in 2017. 

In 2014, the Roscoe High School gymnasium was named The “Coach” Fred Ahart Gymnasium and for his 50 years of work in the field of education and the Mid-Hudson Student Council presented him the Golden Apple Award for his outstanding and longtime service.

"To many of us, I don't think that it's a shock that 'Coach' has received this honor, which is in addition to his prior selection to the Hall of Fame as a coach," Roscoe Athletic Director Adam Larson said. "His grace, humility, and willingness to create opportunities for our young athletes is an example we can all follow and apply to our everyday lives. He touched so many lives and his impact will always be felt by those whom he was in contact with."

Ahart graduated from Candor High School in 1965 then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree at Ithaca College in 1969 and a master's in 1973 in physical education. Before passing, Ahart lived with Becky, his wife of 51 years, in Roscoe. The couple has five adult children, 16 grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. 

Ahart and five others will be formally inducted into its Class of 2022 Hall of Fame on July 27 at the High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid.  The other inductees are Jim Amen Jr. (Coach/Administrator, Section VIII), Maria DeCristoforo (Official, Section VIII), Dennis Fries (Administrator, Section V), Molly Huddle (Athlete, Section IV), and Jim McGowan (Coach, Section XI).

Inductees were chosen using a two-level selection and rating process involving a screening committee and a selection committee.  Nominations were endorsed by each inductee’s member section of the association before going on to the NYSPHSAA Screening Committee for consideration, then finally to the Selection Committee. Nominations can be submitted by anyone as long as a section endorsement letter accompanies the submission.

The NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame is modeled after the National Federation of State High School Associations program, which recognizes individuals in the categories of athlete, coach, official, administrator and related contributor.

The induction will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and a banquet at 6:30 p.m. Tickets and other Hall of Fame information can be found at Deadline to purchase tickets is Friday, July 8.