November 6, 2015

Dwight-Englewood School lost a legend Tuesday and the Bergen County track and cross-country world lost a brave, dedicated and successful coach too soon.

Jerry Krauthamer died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. He had taught English at the school since 1978, and had two separate stretches as the cross-country and track coach that coincided with the two best stretches of success for one of North Jersey’s smallest schools.

He took over the head coaching job in 1980. The Bulldogs won the New Jersey Prep B State Championship in 1984 and Krauthamer coached until 1990.

Eighteen years later, with the Bulldogs in the BCSL Olympic division, Krauthamer returned and eventually led the Bulldogs to three boys NJIC division titles and their first Bergen County cross-country division title in 2013, a year the Bulldogs nearly made the state Meet of Champions.

But Krauthamer’s influence went far beyond wins and losses. In his second stint as head coach (2008-2014) he nearly doubled the size of the cross-country team and tripled the size of the track team with his consistent, quiet but effective coaching style. Unknown to many, he would purchase and donate field event equipment when the budget couldn’t quite accommodate it.

Jerry Krauthamer was a coach parents were proud to have their kids compete for.

Nick Mazzola, the Queen of Peace track coach and former North Arlington track, basketball and football coach also died Tuesday.

Mazzola was as colorful as Krauthamer was quiet, but he also was successful and was beloved by his athletes and had a significant impact.

A member of the 1970 North Arlington state champion basketball team, Mazzola coached nearly everything at his alma mater and then came to Queen of Peace to revive a struggling track program, leading the Golden Griffins to consecutive third-place finishes in Non-Public B North in 2013 and 2014 and helping Kevin Momnohin and Natalie Negroni win three state group championships apiece.

His enthusiasm and passion brought a team from being nearly extinct to one of the better small school programs in the area.

North Jersey is the poorer today because Jerry Krauthamer and Nick Mazzola are no longer with us.