Rudolph E. Rejholec, former coach and athletic director at Nyack High School, is fondly remembered by many of those whose lives he touched throughout his career in Rockland County. His thoughts and innovations always revolved around his family and the children of Nyack.
Besides his teaching and coaching responsibilities, Mr. Rejholec found time to help organize and start the Nyack Little League, working diligently as a leader from 1950-65. He went on to establish the Nyack Babe Ruth League and the Nyack Connie Mack League, which allowed youngsters to continue their participation in baseball. Once the Nyack Little League took root, he expanded the program to include the T-shirt league, for those under the age of nine.
For many years Mr. Rejholec ran the Village of Nyack’s summer recreation programs for either no pay or a very small stipend, often giving up his summer vacation. He originated the “Summer Soccer” league, which enabled athletes to improve their skills over the summer months. He started a summer tennis program which was held on only two courts at Nyack High School and in which over 125 children participated. This program turned out to be a huge success for a long time.
Rudy was a pioneer in introducing several new sports in the Rockland County community. The Nyack School District was the first to have swimming and ice hockey back in the late 1950’s. He instituted strong intramural programs at Nyack High, such as touch-tag football, volleyball, and softball.
He served several terms as president of the Rockland County P.S.A.L. and was instrumental in having girls’ sports become an integral part of the P.S.A.L. programs.
Mr. Rejholec came to Nyack in 1946, after serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy during WWII. His first coaching assignment was in baseball when he developed future Rockland Hall of Famer Fred Hahn and Bob Garrecht, two of the finest pitchers to ever come from Rockland County. In football, which he took over in 1950 as well as becoming athletic director, he helped to produce such stars as
Hall of Famers Jim Brown, Jim Ridlon, and Roger Brown (the latter two as All-Pro selections in the National Football League).
In recent years at the annual Rockland Hall of Fame dinners, the name of Rudy Rejholec has been mentioned by Ralph Cordisco, Max Talaska, Joe Tacchino, and Tom Collins with reverence as to the great leadership ability and services which he rendered to the County of Rockland and the citizens of the Nyack community. As Tom Collins said, “Rudy Rejholec has set a great example of how a person can make a difference in the lives of others.”
Although he passed away in 1987, his wife Evelyn and his four children (Joseph, Barbara, Jeffrey, and MaryLou) know that many of us will not forget his enthusiastic spirit, zeal, and the high moral character with which he led his community.