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Bob Finnegan

WIFE: Joan
CHILDREN: Jennifer, Keri Ann and Kristen

Bob was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1949 but moved to Levittown on Long Island at the age of three. A 1967 graduate of Island Trees High School, Bob lettered in soccer, basketball and golf. Coach Bob Finnegan At the State University College at Oneonta Bob did play some soccer and golf. But his major was elementary education. He earned his first teaching job in Sidney in 1971, where he remained as a valued (mostly) third grade teacher at Pearl St. By 1975, Bob served as a junior high cross country coach under Hall of Fame coach Bill Davidson. When Bill stepped down following the 1980 season, Bob took over the program and coached both boys and girls until the 2005 season.

In the spring of 1978, Bob "inherited" a fine golf program from Gary Scavo and celebrated a Susquenango Association championship in his first season. As golf coach, his teams recorded a 20-year record of 251-98 losses (70.9%) and earned 6 league championships. When golf was moved to a fall sport in 1998, he decided to keep his cross-country position knowing there were several staff members interested in the golf position but if he had moved from the cross country position the sport may have been abandoned. Coach Roxy Birdsall took over the reins to the successful golf program upon Bob's leaving the position. Back to cross country, where Bob worked with both the male and the then-emerging female runners. Theboysteamsearned14Invitationalchampionships,1Susquenangotitleandtwo Section IV, Class B titles (1985 & 1986). There were 3 Susquenango Association champions (David Johnson-1985; Craig Colvard-1987 and Karl Paranya-1992) and 3 Section IV Class C champions( Craig Colvard-1987; Joel Rose-1988 and Clay Lodovice-1991) In 20 seasons, they earned 129 wins and 83 losses (60.8%).

As impressive as the boys teams performed, Sidney's girls teams claimed a winning percentage of 77%, including 48 Invitational, 9 Sus/MAC and 7 Section IV championships! Five runners were league individual champions (Jennifer Finnegan Patruno 1987-89; Sara Ortiz Walsh-1990; Jennifer Blincoe-1992; Autumn Pyle-1994; and Kim Vaccaro (2000-01). Jennifer, Sara and Autumn went on to double as Section IV Class C champions those same seasons as listed above.

Bob's greatest pride as cross country coach was seeing his runners represent Sidney and Section IV at the November running of the NYSPHSAA XC Championships. Male runners were: Craig Colvard, Joel Rose, EdwardAbbot, Karl Paranya, Clay Lodovice and Nick Reyes. Female runners included: Julie Fogarty Neu, Jennifer Finnegan Patrunc, Kim Vaccaro and Christine Bedell. And both of his daughters, Jennifer Finnegan Patruno and Kristen Finnegan Leahy had opportunities to run at the NYSPHSAA XC Championships.

With the success of two "individual" varsity sports, Bob's 1980-2011 tenure as the junior varsity basketball coach is how many Sidney fans best remember him. He coached under then-varsity coach Bill Munro. followed in 1989 by Mike Brazee. The JV teams won almost 66% of their games, going 395-194. In league play they excelled - 298-120 (71.3%). Three of his former teams (1997-98, 1999-2000 and 2006-07 seasons) made the NYSPHSAA Final Four at the varsity level, two of which were Class C NYS champions (1997-98 and 2006-07).

Many summers were spent earning extra money caddying at Old Westbury Golf and CC. Among his most famous pulls were: Willie Mays, Bob Hope, Tommy John, Rudy Giuliani, Bob Cousy and Ralph Branca). Of the many accolades Bob has received in teaching, there were Teacher of the Years in 1980. the Rotary Club of Sidney Vocational Service Award in 1990. and the naming of the annual Sidney Elementary School PTO Triathlon (where he's been involved since its inception in 1996) to FINNEGAN'S RUN in 2003.

Finally, the induction of Bob Finnegan into the SASHOF and those 82 seasons of coaching would not have been been possible without the loving support of his family - especially his wife. Joan.