Coach Michael S. McDermott Field: Kings Park votes to dedicate JV field to late teacher, coach

Posted: Updated:

By Bob Doda, Digital Producer

While working to renovate the JV baseball field at Kings Park High School in October, there were already rumblings that it could soon be renamed after Michael McDermott – a beloved coach and teacher who was killed in a hit-and-run crash over the summer.

It became a reality during a unanimous vote before Kings Park Board of Education on Tuesday, Dec. 3 – it will be known as Coach Michael S. McDermott Field.

Steve McDermott, Mike’s youngest of four brothers, called the dedication “truly special.”

“The way the community has come together to support my family and to honor my big brother has been heart-warming,” he said. “The field dedication is icing on the cake.”

MORE: “Overwhelming.” Volunteers rejuvenate baseball field in memory of Kings Park teacher/coach 

Carol Passantino, the executive secretary of Kings Park Youth, says the nonprofit community sports association made it a priority to have the field renovated and dedicated in McDermott’s honor.

“I had the pleasure of working with Mike in the middle school. Not only was he a friend, but he was also my daughter’s teacher since she was in elementary school. He would make us laugh every day,” she said. “Mike had a very special way about himself that would just make you want to smile whenever you were around him, which is why I miss him very much.”

McDermott, 37, a husband and father of three young children, was killed on July 14 when an alleged drugged driver fatally struck him while he was out for a jog through the streets of St. James. Suffolk prosecutors say Keith Clancy, 32, of Mattituck, was on fentanyl during the incident. He was later apprehended more than 20 miles away on the Long Island Expressway with extensive damage to his vehicle.

MORE: ‘Authentically extra’: Kings Park teacher remembered at friendly doubleheader 

After the incident, KPY contacted its members and sponsors in the hopes of renovating the field and having it dedicated to the late coach. Two fundraisers were held in August and October to help fund the field renovations on Oct. 26. Friends, family, former players and Kings Park students gathered on what was a warm and sunny morning and afternoon to reseed the field, rebuild the pitcher’s mound and home plate area, replace broken fencing – among other tasks.

During the Board of Education meeting, Jayson Forneiro, a Kings Park senior, voiced his support for the field’s renaming – saying that McDermott made a difference in his life on and off the field.

Joe Bianco, who serves on the Kings Park Board of Education, wasn’t in attendance for the vote, but asked Superintendent Dr. Timothy Eagen to read prepared remarks.

“Rebuilding the JV field was a labor of love for many of us seven years ago.  It was a pleasure to turn the field over to Coach McDermott that spring and see the pride he shared in having a place that he could be proud of to play and coach the game that he loved,” said Bianco.

According to Dr. Eagen, “The district is in the process of ordering an electronic scoreboard and backstop sign that will proudly display the new official name of the field.  We plan to dedicate the field in the spring at an event yet to be determined, but most likely in April.”

Those that knew McDermott say that the field dedication is fitting. Steve McDermott says he “can’t wait for spring.”

“…So that I can attend a ball game and look out at the scoreboard and sign behind the backstop, and take it all in. Mike loved what he did, and I know he’s going to love this field,” he said.

  • SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Photos: Viral outbreak in China

    Photos: Viral outbreak in China

    Chinese health authorities urged people in the city of Wuhan to avoid crowds and public gatherings.
    Chinese health authorities urged people in the city of Wuhan to avoid crowds and public gatherings.
  • Sights and scenes from the 2020 SAG Awards

    Sights and scenes from the 2020 SAG Awards

    Sights and scenes from the 2020 SAG AwardsSights and scenes from the 2020 SAG Awards
    Sights and scenes from the 2020 SAG AwardsSights and scenes from the 2020 SAG Awards
    Sights and scenes from the 2020 SAG Awards
    Sights and scenes from the 2020 SAG Awards
  • Dog Day Fridays for Jan. 17

    Dog Day Fridays for Jan. 17

    Friday, January 17 2020 10:01 AM EST2020-01-17 15:01:18 GMT
    Lady is a Labrador/Rottweiler mix. She is super affectionate and her favorite pasttime is dancing! She loves belly rubs and snuggling with all people.Lady is a Labrador/Rottweiler mix. She is super affectionate and her favorite pasttime is dancing! She loves belly rubs and snuggling with all people.
    Lady is a Labrador/Rottweiler mix. She is super affectionate and her favorite pasttime is dancing! She loves belly rubs and snuggling with all people.Lady is a Labrador/Rottweiler mix. She is super affectionate and her favorite pasttime is dancing! She loves belly rubs and snuggling with all people.
    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue. They brought three puppies!
    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue. They brought three puppies!
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."