Street renamed for late Campus Magnet coach Chuck Granby

Former Campus Magnet coach Chuck Granby with his daughter Robyn Granby-Poole. The corner of Francis Lewis Boulevard and 116th was remamed Saturday for the coach, who died March 1.
Photo by Christina Santucci
By Laura Amato

Robyn Granby-Poole felt as if she were on a swivel. She had people to talk to and hug and thank and then, after all of that, she had a legacy to honor. Granby-Poole’s father, legendary Campus Magnet boys basketball coach Chuck Granby, was immortalized at the corner of Francis Lewis Boulevard and 116th Avenue on Saturday afternoon when the intersection was renamed in his honor.

And the turnout to see the unveiling was something Granby-Poole expected, but still wasn’t quite ready for.

“To me, it just says that Dad was blessed,” Granby-Poole said. “People wanted this for him. Coach Granby was so humble, didn’t ask for much, very private and simple, but this is something that I’ve always thought about.”

Of course, Granby’s impact on high school hoops is immeasurable.

The coach—who died March 1 at the age of 81—amassed 722 victories over 45 years at Campus Magnet, long known as Andrew Jackson High School. He also led the Bulldogs to 42 PSAL playoff appearances, 27 division titles and seven Queens titles during his career. From 1972 to 1985, his teams did not lose a home game. That run was capped off by Granby’s lone PSAL championship.

Players from nearly every era of Granby’s career returned to the campus for the street renaming, each with a story, a memory and a “hello” for Granby-Poole.

“The lives that he impacted and not even on the court, outside of the gym and away from the game, it was incredible,” Granby-Poole said. “Conversations that he had that stayed with [people] and, from year to year, I always heard more and more about him. And I developed a relationship with these people, way before dad passed, and that means a lot to me.”

But while former players and Bulldogs fans were quick to reminisce about Granby’s success on the hardwood, Granby-Poole was quick to point out that her father was much more than a coach. He was a teacher—retiring in 1996—and mentor to everyone who crossed his path, stressing the importance of higher education.

“He was blessed enough to have players that had the talent to enable them to have those wins, but at the end, it was always like ‘Where are we going and what school are we going to?,’” Granby-Poole said. “It was about getting that degree so you could hold your own.”

There was never any doubt that Granby’s legacy would live on—his coaching stats alone pack the PSAL record books—but Granby-Poole had to admit that this ceremony was something special. Her father was always a presence at Campus Magnet and, now, his memory will continue to watch over the school—and its basketball team.

“I don’t want to say that this is the culmination, because it’s not finished, but it’s kind of bringing it all together,” Granby-Poole said. “If my dad was here, he would be saying ‘Thank you God for this.’”

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