Legendary Potsdam High boys’ track coach Bill Lewis passes away
Friday, July 12, 2019 - 2:00 pm

Coach Lewis at the 1972 Van Dusen Track Meet with two members of the team, Babe Ceglarski, center, and Kim Sprague, right, with the championship trophy. Photo by Scott Conroe.

POTSDAM — A renowned track coach who led teams at Potsdam Central from 1963 to 1974 has died at the age of 83.

He led the team from 1963 to 1974, compiling a legendary record of 107 wins versus three losses and nine consecutive Section X titles.

He retired from the district as a middle school guidance counselor in 1994.

Coaching track and field through faith became Bill’s passion. Although winning was not his main focus, the results were 85 straight dual meet victories, 10 consecutive league championships, and 9 sectional titles, according to his obituary.

In 2016, the track at Potsdam Central was named in his honor.

He held leadership positions in the Jaycees, Potsdam United Methodist Church, American Cancer Society, Lions Club, Habitat for Humanity, and Phi Delta Kappa, an organization that promotes quality education in the public schools, his obituary said. Phi Delta Kappa’s Prospective Educator Award was in named in Bill’s honor.

His work with the Jaycees made an impact on High School athletics for Section X. In 1970, Bill invited Olympic athlete, Jesse Owens to the local Jaycee Sports Spectacular for both boys and girls ages 9 – 18. Jesse Owens spoke and handed out medals to the athletes, many who qualified for the national meet.