Track and field: Washingtonville complex to be dedicated to famed coach Art Jessup

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Calling all Wizards!

The track and field facility at Washingtonville High School will be dedicated to legendary coach Art Jessup on Saturday evening, and organizers are encouraging all former athletes to attend.

“Oh my gosh, some I haven’t seen for almost 40 years,’’ said Jessup, who’s been kept in the dark as to most of the attendees. Current coach Mike White, an event organizer, said more than 100 former Wizards will be on hand.

Art Jessup, right, will have the Washingtonville High School track complex dedicated in his name on Saturday.
Art Jessup, right, will have the Washingtonville High School track complex dedicated in his name on Saturday.

When he started coaching the track program in 1965, the school had one of the few cinder tracks in the state, Jessup said. “They used to let me get out of school early to mark the track because it was a fifth-of-a-mile track,’’ he said. Washingtonville now has an all-weather facility. Jessup retired from coaching in 2002 but has served as a local track and field official since then.

Jessup, who also coached soccer with Tony Martelli in the 1980s, coached dozens of champions on the local, state and national level, but he says it wasn’t all about that.

“It was more about the goal of developing athletes, to reach their potential through my motivation and coaching,’’ said Jessup, a 2017 inductee to the Friends of Section 9 Track and Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame. “I hope they got to see through hard work that you can accomplish your goal.’’

The doors open for the free event at 5:30 p.m. with the ceremony at 6 p.m. There will be an unveiling of a recognition to Jessup’s contributions. Light refreshments will be served afterward.

kmcmillan@th-record.com

Twitter: @KenMcMillanTHR

This article originally appeared on Times Herald-Record: Washingtonville to dedicate track and field facility to Art Jessup