By Robert Elkin
Frank McCartney, who helped to produce three college All-American athletes while coaching cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field teams at Xaverian High School, recently retired from coaching and teaching history at the Bay Ridge based school. At 67 years of age, McCartney has been at Xaverian for 43 years, coaching the varsity teams for 40 years. He piloted such runners as Harry Gaffney and Paul Whittaker, both of whom wound up with top honors at Georgetown University, and Bob Murach, who received the same laurel at Columbia. “Xaverian is a great school and I have no regrets in retiring,” he said. “I love the kids and love coaching and teaching. I had great teachers and assistant coaches. “But personal and professional reasons occurred that caused circumstances that warranted it was time for me to retire after 40 wonderful years coaching at Xaverian.” However, McCartney remains as chairman of cross country and track for the Diocese of Brooklyn in the Catholic High Schools Athletic Association and its meet director for the Brooklyn-Queens Outdoor CHSAA championship. At Xaverian, he is succeeded by Sal Tinerva, who has five years of experience on the freshmen and junior varsity levels at Xaverian. He also coached at St. John’s Prep. Tinerva, who ran for McCartney at Xaverian, teaches history and religion at the school. McCartney is spending more time with his family, including his sons Glenn, head junior varsity baseball coach at Poly Prep, and Dan and Brian, members of the track team at Wagner College. Frank also enjoys watching Poly Prep’s varsity baseball team keep winning in quest for its league title. McCartney points out that he coached four State championship athletes when Gerry Sullivan, Paul Whittaker, Charley Edmonds and Kevin Roche won the 3200 meter relay, and Joe DeGregorio three times captured the shot put with a 61’ 7 ?” his best toss. The coach sent hundreds of athletes to college, including runners Steve Galetta (University of Penn), Mike Barton (Iona), Lou Vazquez (Brooklyn), and Sullivan (St. Joseph’s) and field specialist Bill Bakewitz (St. John’s). The latter threw the shot put, discus, and hammer. He only coached one CHSAA Intersectional championship team and that came during the spring of 1974. McCartney’s teams finished numerous times among the top three squads in the Intersectional meets. McCartney also boasts that about 95 percent of his athletes went on to earn college degrees and are doing extremely well in the business, professional and sports fields. “Of all the sports, track is one of the sports that develops and disciplines the kids and gives them self-confidence, and builds them into men,” he went on. “Track is a great character builder for the kids.” Xaverian has tons of individual city champions and record holders, but records don’t mean anything to McCartney. It’s developing kids and getting them into college. That’s important. “We try to fit a kid into a college where he thinks he is most prepared for and a college where the head coach will help him,” McCartney went on. McCartney usually landed his athletes from within the school. “Kids don’t come to high school for track and field,” he said. “They come to play other sports (such as basketball and baseball). When they get cut, that’s when we go after them….I help the kids mature into adults.” Even though in some of the years his teams struggled, McCartney felt that there wasn’t too many downs to the program. “With track and field the program goes in cycles, for some years we get great kids and in some we have to rebuild,” he added. “In addition, the Brothers did a great job here at Xaverian and were very supportive of the program. They gave us a lot of help. “But times changed. I think they are more into baseball, basketball and football now…. “ McCartney is certainly misses coaching the boys. He volunteers with the team a little at Wagner College. But at the same time he did say “I may want to get back into ‘it’ again.” McCartney, who is still giving a helping hand at various meets by officiating, ran at St. Francis Prep High School and St. John’s University.” Congrats to the boys in blue! At a meeting of the 63rd Precinct Community Council, two top cops were honored for making a daring arrest. On March 23, P.O. Adam Karabuber and P.O. Jeffery Burke responded to a robbery at a restaurant on Avenue U. After two suspects allegedly hit the owner of the restaurant over the head with a gun, the officers chased the men for nearly four blocks before apprehending them. Once in police custody, the suspects confessed to the crime. Burke and Karabuber are two of the five police officers now manning a new post in Marine Park. Also patrolled by a sergeant, the post, located at the park house at the corner of Marine Parkway and Fillmore Avenue, was created in response to the March 30 attack against a group of students from St. Edmund’s parochial school.