We Say Goodbye to a Curley Legend

August 29th, 2019 | Posted By: Greg Malanowski | Posted in Alumni, Athletics

Mr. Richard “Coach” Patry passed away on July 27, 2019. Coach was married to the late JoAnn Patry who passed away last year.  He is the father of Scott Patry (and his wife, Ann) and Susan Patry.  He is the grandfather of Benjamin Patry and Samuel Patry.

Friends may call at the family owned Ruck-Towson Funeral Home, Inc., 1050 York Road (beltway exit 26) on Thursday & Friday, August 1st and 2nd. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, August 3rd, 10AM at Loch Raven United Methodist Church, 6622 Loch Raven Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21239. Interment Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens. Memorial contributions may be sent to: The Richard & JoAnn Patry Memorial Scholarship c/o Archbishop Curley High School 3701 Sinclair Lane, Baltimore, Maryland 21213 or Loch Raven United Methodist Church.

Richard Patry will forever be known to generations of Curley Men as “Coach.” A college All-American at Catawba College, he began his football coaching career as the head coach of Archbishop Curley’s freshman team. As Varsity football coach from 1966-1982, Patry amassed 78 wins. His most successful campaign was the 1977 season during which the Friars posted an 8-2 record and laid claim to the Catholic League championship. That year, Curley finished the season ranked #3 in the Baltimore Sun’s final poll. Patry’s 17 seasons at the helm of Curley’s football program marked only a fraction of his overall service to the school. He joined the faculty in 1962, the year after the school opened and remained a member of the Physical Education Department for the next 39 years. In addition to football, Patry coached freshman and JV basketball. Still an active member of the Curley Family, Coach is a familiar figure in the stands at football games in the Bowl. He is also a crowd favorite as alumni from every generation are eager to reminisce with him.

Coach was born and raised in Shamokin, PA and played football for his high school team. After a two-year Army stint in Korea, Coach tried out for the Packers and the Colts, but found his way to Catawba College in North Carolina where he was a star center and linebacker. Graduating with a degree in physical education and biology, he began his teaching career in South Carolina. After three years, he took the job at a new private school in Baltimore to be closer to his mom. And so the legend began.

And what a legend it turned out to be.  Alumni still talk about climbing the ropes and Betsy the vaulting horse, the crab soccer games and razzle dazzle football.  Many alumni swung and missed when Coach pitched and yelled “Do it ball!” Gene Hoffman ’69, a student and colleague of Coach Patry said: “Working with Coach has been one adventure after another. He has been a coach, teacher, father and colleague to me and I will miss him greatly.”

Coach was proud of his school.  He reminded all who would listen that he taught all three of Curley’s presidents.  After his retirement in 2001, he would make appearances at reunions and homecoming.  Tuesdays were his day for a visit, to check up on who was working, to catch up on Curley news and to talk about the concert or play he recently attended. Few people knew that Coach and his wife Joanne (who passed away last year) had season tickets to the Meyerhoff and would travel to New York on Wednesdays to see a Broadway play.

As formidable as he was as a coach and teacher, Coach was likeable and funny as a colleague and friend.  He was a practical joker, especially with his longtime friend, Al Frank.  Principals tried to keep him in line. The Main Office staff were teased constantly.  Yet everyone knew that Coach loved Curley and as he said at his retirement: “I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone. I’ve enjoyed my years at Curley and have no regrets. It’s been great.”