By Myles Goldman
Jordan Lauterbach (‘10) and Rich Degnan, the director of track and field from 2004-2007, received awards from the National Scholastic Athletic Foundation (NSAF) for their contributions to the sport of track and field. The awards were presented at The Armory in New York City on March 10.
At most sporting events, the athletes take home the awards, but these awards were different. Lauterbach and Degnan were honored for their knowledge and passion for track and field.
Degnan, a life-long track and field enthusiast and current tutor at the Learning Support Center received the Mike Byrnes Coach of The Year award as coach for Massapequa boy’s winter and spring track, where he still coaches. Degnan is a certified official for the New York State and USA Track and Field (USATF) and director of staffing and operations at Foundation Running Camps, a summer running camp held for children at Camp Pontiac in Westbury.
Degnan has received other awards for track, including the Colbert Britt award for coaching excellence by the Nassau coaches in 2016 and the Nassau Officials Award in 2017. This award was special to him as Mike Byrnes, who the award was named after, was a mentor to him. Byrnes co-founded the NSAF in 1989.
“When I was told I was receiving the Mike Byrnes award as the National Coach of the Year, I was extremely surprised and very honored having known Byrnes as a mentor of mine,” Degnan said.
Lauterbach, who graduated with a degree in journalism, was awarded the Allen Dawson Award for contributions to track and field in his reporting for Newsday. Since joining Newsday in 2012 in the high school sports department, Lauterbach has been covering track and field. The sport was new to him before he started to cover meets.
During his college years, Lauterbach spent time at the campus radio station covering sports. “I did everything there. I did play by play for football, women’s basketball on occasion, but the main thing I did was a daily talk show called ‘The Sports Wire” and I did it with my friends Max Caster and Matt Soldano,” Lauterbach said.