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Ed Berich Ed Berich
Inducted: 2003 - Graduated:

In June of 1964, Ed Berich, together with his wife and four

sons, moved to Nanuet. Ed, a graduate of Rutgers

University, was employed as a sales executive with the

Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. He had been in charge of

Pittsburgh’s sales office in Asbury Park, N.J., and was

transferred to head the Mount Vernon, N.Y., sales office,

which necessitated the move to Nanuet.

His eldest son, Dick, was then a freshman in high school

and went on to have a highly successful athletic career at

Nanuet, being one of the firstNanuet High School athletes

to receive All-County recognition in two sports, football

and baseball. Don Berich, the second oldest son, was a

New York State track champion in the hurdles who

received a scholarship to the University of Maryland,

where he was on a highly successful hurdle relay team with

future world record-holder Renaldo Nehemiah. Jim Berich, the third oldest son, was a Nanuet athlete who participated

in football and track and who, unfortunately, was

stricken with cancer and died while a student at Nanuet

High School.

Ed Berich was one of the most influential individuals in the

history ofNanuet High School athletics. In the fall of 1964,

shortly after moving to Nanuet, Ed, together with Matt

Vaccaro, envisioned having a dinner recognizing the outstanding

season recorded that year by the freshman football

team—of which their sons were members. They were

unable, however, to receive the go-ahead from the Athletic

Department. Ed had been a longtime observer of and former

participant in high school athletics in his home area of

central New Jersey, and remained committed not only to

organizing the freshman football dinner, but also to

improving the general state of Nanuet athletics. Enlisting the assistance of Vaccaro, shortly thereafter they decided

to form a booster organization, which later became the

Black and Gold Club.

Ed went to the school board and secured authority to form

the Black and Gold Club. Ralph Smith was also enlisted to

help form the organization. The bylaws of the organization

were drafted on Ed Berich’s deck on EdsallAvenue, and to

this day he is proud that they were drafted in gender-neutral

terms. Moreover, Ed had the foresight to create the

Black and Gold Club not solely as a football booster organization,

as were many other similar organizations at that

time, but to support participation in athletics by both boys

and girls in all sports. He points with pride to the Black and

Gold Club’s initiation of dinners following the fall, winter

and spring athletic seasons to honor all participating athletes,

a tradition that continues to this day.

Ed Berich was not satisfied simply with the formation of

the Black and Gold Club. During this period he ran for and

was elected to theNanuet Board of Education, of which he

eventually became president and served on for many

years. Ed is a very articulate man and during his tenure on

the Board of Education, he exercised considerable influence

over the Athletic Department, which extended to the

selection of coaches and staff and the move to change the

level of competition. This eventually became reality following

Nanuet’s withdrawal from the old Rockland

County Public School Athletic League, a league that was

based solely on geographic location with no consideration

of school size. Ed firmly believed that competition

should be amongst schools of equal size

as it was in New Jersey, where he had spent his

youth. Eventually, of course, what Ed Berich

envisioned became a reality and the athletic program

through the years, and presently, has enjoyed considerable


These days, Ed is enjoying retirement on the eastern

Maryland shore, where he now resides.