Legendary H.S. coach Bill Kuchar dies at 88

He coached at three schools, won eight championships, well over 600 games – though exactly how many depends on what newspaper you read – and wrote a book on coaching basketball you can still find on Amazon.

Longtime basketball coach Bill Kuchar has died at the age of 88.

Kuchar – a Jersey City native – coached for 40 years overall: at St. Mary’s in his hometown (276-111), then St. Joseph-Metuchen (210-88), at St. Pius in Piscataway (13-11), and Wardlaw-Hartridge in Edison (160-65), where he left after the 1998-99 season.

In the 1980s, he coached a young Mark Taylor at St. Joe’s, who eventually succeeded him at his alma mater, and is now the head coach at St. Benedict’s Prep.

After leaving Wardlaw, Kuchar took a year off after four solid decades of coaching without a break, and returned as an assistant under Mark Taylor, who told John Haley of The Home News at the time, “We work well together. He’s won over 600 games, so he has a lot of knowledge and I really respect him. I give him as much freedom as he wants.”

He was 659-275 in 41 seasons, according to Haley, though NJ.com reported in 2019 – in a story on coaches who’ve won 500 and 600 games – that he had won 621 games.

Kuchar brought St. Joseph to three consecutive Middlesex County Tournament finals, in 1982, ’83 and ’84, losing the first year to St. Thomas Aquinas (which later became Bishop Ahr and now is called Aquinas again) and the next two years to now-closed St. Peter’s of New Brunswick.

Kuchar ran a successful sports business, with six locations of the “All Star Sports Center” for nearly 40 years, according to his obituary. McGrawHill published his book, “Coaching High School Basketball,” in 2005.

He had retired to Manchester, where visitation was held yesterday, and where graveside services will be held at 10:30 Tuesday morning at The Chapel at St. Gertrude’s Cemetery.

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