Beloved Einstein coach inducted in school hall of fame
Jen Beasley/The Gazette
In his 25-year career at Albert Einstein High School, Bob Boyle covered all the bases. His students and colleagues knew him as a father figure, a teacher, a caregiver—even a best man. But last weekend he was remembered in the role that suited him best: Coach.
Boyle, who coached baseball for 23 years and junior varsity football for 20 years, as well as short stints with gymnastics and girls' basketball, was inducted into the Albert Einstein High School Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, in the company of 15 other coaches, athletes and founders inducted into the 2008 Hall of fame class, many of whom thanked Boyle for his contributions to their own accomplishments.
A plaque will be hung for him in the Joseph A. Monte Athletic Hall of Fame Lounge at Einstein, which was dedicated last year.
"You know, when you leave a particular job, you never expect, at least I didn't, something like this to happen," Boyle said of the honor.
But those he coached and worked with said the honor couldn't go to a more deserving Titan.
"I always thought they should have named the field after him," said Scott Wilson, who was coached by Boyle as a baseball player and then coached beside him at Einstein. Boyle even served as the best man at Wilson's wedding.
"He was always a good guy, he was always good-natured."
Diane Bokinsky, who coached field hockey at Einstein and worked with Boyle for many years, said returning students—even those who didn't play for him—always asked about him.
"The first person they always ask about was Bob Boyle," Bokinsky said. "Male and female alike, he's just one of those people who just have a magnetism, he's kind and very dedicated to his students and his sports."
A man of few words, Boyle kept his induction speech brief, and as usual, strictly about his students. Boyle coached the 1973 baseball team to a 16-4 record and the county and district championships. In 1975, the Titans were state champion Runner-up, but he remembered all his teams equally.
"For 25 years they were just great," Boyle said. "We didn't win all the games but we sure had a good time, and I hope they enjoyed it."
Larry Sheridan of Kensington, who was also inducted into the AEHS Hall of Fame, played both football and baseball under Boyle and said he was as good at purveying life lessons as coaching advice.
"You know, he'd say, football is like life, when you get knocked down in the field, just like in life, you've got to get up and do the next play," Sheridan said.
Sheridan said he always publicly commended players that didn't necessarily get a lot of playing time, but showed dedication and commitment.
"He always said how they were doing such a good job and that their persistence would pay off in the long run," Sheridan said. "I always liked that he showed them that respect."
"He was very good too, especially for the guys whose fathers were not very involved in their lives or for the guys that didn't have fathers, he would kind of be a father figure to them, he would always try to help them out especially and always had an open door."
Sheridan said at one baseball game he remembers, the catcher was experiencing vision problems and blackouts, and Boyle left the game to drive him to the hospital and stay with him until his parents arrived. No coaches remained and Boyle turned the reins over to his players.
"He showed that he trusted us to take care of ourselves, to finish the game, and then showed that he really cared about that catcher," Sheridan said.
Since his retirement in 1995, Boyle splits his time between Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Florida, where he watches Major League Baseball's training camp every spring.