EDGEMONT, N.Y. — The Edgemont School District will dedicate one of its high school gymnasiums Friday in honor of Jim San Marco, who recently retired after coaching and teaching at the school for more than four decades.
The Edgemont School Foundation has already received more than $200,000 from Edgemont alumni to renovate the gym that will honor San Marco. School officials said the gym needs floor replacements since its construction in the 1950s. New equipment, technology and a teaching and learning facility will also accompany the gym, so it will not benefit just the gymnastics and wrestling athletes who practice inside, said Edgemont Athletic Director Ray Pappalardi.
San Marco was a coach, athletic director and physical education teacher, Pappalardi said, so renovations to help all of Edgemont's students were most appropriate.
"The bottom line is that his motivation was always to do what's best for the kids. His athletes and his students knew that," Pappalardi said.
San Marco earned more than 500 career victories as a coach for Edgemont soccer, tennis, baseball and basketball. An Edgemont alumni himself, San Marco currently lives in Briarcliff with his wife, Lesley.
San Marco said he was blown away when he first heard about the dedication last June. He said he was surprised to hear from friends and former athletes who said they would be traveling from New Hampshire, Washington, D.C. and even California to attend Friday's event.
"People are taking time out of their lives to come to this dedication — it's more than I deserve," San Marco said. "I've just been blessed to work with so many wonderful kids and people. Coaching has always been a passion of mine. To do something you love — it can't get any better than that."
Dozens of Edgemont alumni and friends have already shared their stories and photos on San Marco's dedication website.
Nick Rosen-Wachs, a Class of 2005 Edgemont alumni, spoke of the important lessons San Marco taught him.
"You always told us, 'You win or you learn,' and while we were fortunate enough not to lose a match the five years I was on the EHS tennis team, I certainly learned more from you and I will remember your life lessons more than any victory," Rosen-Wachs wrote.
The dedication ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Edgemont High School. To donate to the Edgemont School Foundation for the Jim San Marco gym renovations, visit the dedication's website.