Bruce Gary

Bruce Gary
World Trade Center

The Coach With a Heart

You could learn something about Bruce Gary from the way he coached a Little League team. Season after season he created good teams by focusing not on the all- stars but on the children other coaches would stick in right field and forget about.

"Every year there would be the really good kids, and some kids who weren't so good," said Thomas Gary, his 15-year-old son. "But he worked more with those kids, and by the end of the season the team would be more equal."

Mr. Gary, 51, was a firefighter with Engine 40, a part-time plumber and since his divorce a decade ago a full-time parent to his three children: Richard, 20, Jessica, 24, and Thomas. Somehow he found time to be vice president of the Little League in Bellmore, N.Y., coaching his sons and their friends. Always encouraging, never losing his temper.

"He would help boost kids' self-esteem," his daughter said. "He wanted to give everyone a chance."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 14, 2001.

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