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Dan Keeley -
Dan’s road to success began on the playing fields of North Rockland High School as a three-sport athlete. Dan earned one varsity basketball letter, two varsity letters in baseball, and three varsity letters for North Rockland’s famed football team. He achieved honorable mention and second team All-County recognition in football while playing on two undefeated championship teams in 1970 and 1971, as quarterback and defensive back. Dan was selected as The Journal News Athlete of the Week and the Bergen Record Player of the Week for scoring both of his team’s touchdowns in an epic 13-7 North Rockland victory over Nyack, a perennial RCPSAL powerhouse. In that game, during his junior year, Dan was pressed into service at quarterback when the first- and second-string QBs went down with injuries, and he responded with a memorable game- winning performance.

Dan played quarterback, defensive back, running back, returned punts and kickoffs, and called signals on the defense. He received the James F. Tierney Memorial Trophy in his senior year at North Rockland, which was awarded to an outstanding player who excels academically. In baseball, Dan was an infielder-outfielder on North Rockland’s 1971 and 1972 teams under the guidance and coaching of Bob Nadal. In 1972, North Rockland won the Section 9 baseball championship with a 22-2 record and Dan played a major role in the team’s success. Participating in athletics at North Rockland built the founda- tion and set the stage for Dan’s future career as an outstanding coach of young men. After high school Dan was recruited by Lafayette College, in Pennsylvania, where he competed for one year as a running back.

Dan’s coaching career began in 1981 when he returned to his alma mater, North Rockland, as an assistant football coach. He still coaches football at North Rockland and has served as a JV and assistant varsity coach, and is now a volunteer assistant varsity coach, where he can usually be found in the press box during games calling the plays for North Rockland. In 1982 Dan began his baseball coaching career at Rockland Community College as an assistant coach under his former mentor and coach, Bob Nadal. He worked his way up to assistant head baseball coach and took over the head coaching position in 1991 when Nadal retired. During Dan’s 11-year tenure (1991- 2002) as the head coach of the RCC baseball team, he compiled a record of 289 wins and 182 losses. His teams won the Junior College Region XV baseball championship seven times: 1991 through 1995, and 1997-98. They also won the Junior College Mid-Hudson championship eight times. In 1993, the Keeley-coached RCC baseball team
made it to the National Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.

While serving as head baseball coach at RCC Dan was selected as the Junior College Region XV Coach of the Year seven times, the North- east Junior College Coach of the Year in 1993, and also the National Junior College Coach of the Year in 1993. As a result of his efforts Dan was inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

While Dan produced outstanding teams at RCC he also produced outstanding baseball players as well. Fifteen former players of Dan’s were drafted or played professional baseball, and seven players were named All-Americans. One hundred and four players went on from RCC to four- year colleges like Seton Hall, LIU, St. John’s, Virginia, North Carolina, Fordham, and many more. Twenty-three former players are now coaches, including Rich Wirchansky and Vin Michello at Clarkstown South; Pat Carey, the head baseball coach at Iona College; Pat Gorman at Albertus Magnus; and Khyl Farrison, the strength and conditioning coach at Seton Hall University.

Currently Dan serves as the Director of Athletics and the Director of Arena Management at RCC, positions that he has held since 1997. Dan is the Region XV Chairman of men’s ten- nis, cross country, indoor track, and women’s tennis. He also serves on the baseball and golf committees. Dan has in the past served as the Assistant Regional Director (a national officer), and as the Chairman of the Standards and Ethics Committee and National Division III baseball and basketball committees. In addition, Dan was the catalyst in establishing the RCC Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. Dan and his wife, Michelle, currently live in Suffern. Michelle is an honorary member of the North Rockland Sports Hall of Fame.

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