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Robert Vincent Nadal

July 14, 1939 April 23, 2012
Robert Vincent Nadal
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Obituary for Robert Vincent Nadal
Robert Vincent Nadal in every sense embodied the name “Teacher” for his family, friends, and the hundreds of athletes and students whose lives were blessed by his tutelage. Coach Nadal passed in the company of his adoring family on Monday morning, leaving a legacy of love, wisdom and life lessons that span 72 years. Born in Spring Valley NY in 1939 to Carlos Gregori Nadal of Almoines, Spain and Pearl Mae Rickle of Nanuet New York, he grew up a ranch hand and was prominently featured as a calf roper and rider in various rodeos in the tri-state area. In his Spring Valley High school years he was, by his own admission, a modest athlete who was fortunate to perform on outstanding championship teams both on the gridiron and the baseball diamond. He met his future wife, Maureen Larsen at this time and frequently snuck her out of the Ladycliffe Academy for various dances and clandestine dates. After serving his country for six years in the United States Navy as a fire control technician on the USS Lloyd Thomas, a destroyer escort, he earned a scholarship to attend Hofstra College and play guard on an offensive line with a two future Super Bowl Champions. Graduating with a degree in education from Hofstra, he found employment in the Haverstraw school district as a social studies teacher and football coach. He married Maureen, moved to Suffern and it was then that he began molding young hearts and minds. He quickly moved up the teaching and coaching ranks, taking jobs as a coach in modified football, freshman baseball, wrestling, finally landing his career position at North Rockland High School for 11th and 12th grade social studies. He became offensive line coach for Ralph Cordisco’s Red Raiders of the 1970’s and built a baseball dynasty as the varsity head coach for baseball sending players to college and the major Leagues including one who was the number 1 draft pick in the nation. In the mid 70’s he gave up his first love of football so that he could spend more time with his family which had now grown to four with the addition of son Justin and daughter Nicole. In 1973 the family moved to Howells NY in Orange County. Five years later, after a score of county and sectional championships in baseball he accepted the vacant coaching position at Rockland Community College. There I remember he started on his hands and knees, pouring lime from a coffee cup to line the batter’s box and foul lines and built a nationally respected men’s baseball program. In his tenure as head coach Rockland Community College graduated hundreds of student athletes sending most all of them to four year schools. He fostered the talents of dozens of players who played professionally but more importantly left his mark in the building of character, and maturity of every young man he coached. With his spunky yet wise delivery he taught the finer aspects of the game with a humor and delicacy that got the absolute most out of his players who would do anything for him to win with class or lose with dignity. He was considered a friend, a mentor, and even a father to many of us who had the absolute honor to play for him. He retired from RCC in the final year of his son Justin’s eligibility and after losing their last game of the season he tearfully whispered in his son’s ear “son, we were never cheated of anything”. After a year West Point Called him to be an assistant bench coach where as “Yoda Skipper” he deeply influenced the lives of dozens of cadets who have gone on to serve our country. It was something he considered among the most honorable and rewarding of his coaching experiences. He was an avid woodsman who gathered dear friends on 200 mile canoe trips through the Canadian wilderness, drove hours for hunting and fishing excursions and found he could be closer to God amongst the trees and the forces of nature. Throughout it all he modestly and by example taught those around him how to live their lives simply and with great joy, making sure to take care of business when necessary but never to pass up the opportunity to have a great time. He watched with great pride as his daughter Nicole labored her way up the ranks to become CPA and the controller of a family office in New York, and Justin covered news and sports for Time Warner Cable 6 Television in Middletown. He shared in the weddings of both his children, welcoming his daughter-in-law Keri Nadal and Son-in-law Trevor Lynch to his family. Not long after he celebrated the coming of three grandchildren; Jacob, Jocelyn and Jace Robert. In his later years after retiring from North Rockland he got involved with Maureen in community service, working with the local Meals on Wheels Program and traveling the Carribean finally landing an annual time share in Aruba where he made and regaled numerous new friends with his humor and grace. Coach is survived by his wife Maureen, his children and grandchildren and countless hundreds of men, women, boys and girls, who throughout the past 5 decades had grown by his unique and gentle touch. He wished that no formal service be held in his passing but a party to celebrate his life is to be scheduled by his family at date in the near future. Written condolences can be sent to PO Box 12 Howells, NY 10932. A Facebook page named “ Memories Of coachNadal” has also been set up for anyone who wishes to publicly share a fond memory large or small.

A Celebration of Robert's Life will be announced at a later date
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