A Ubiquitous Coach
He never wore a coat when he rode the open deck of the ferry from Hoboken, N.J., into Manhattan, not when it rained, not even when it snowed. Part of it was that Walter P. Travers was a bear of a man who generated his own heat and felt cooped up beneath an overcoat. Part was that he was always in a hurry.
Commuting from Upper Saddle River ate up a lot of Mr. Travers's time. Then of course there were all the hours he put into his job as a broker with Cantor Fitzgerald. If he did not have to fiddle with a coat he might save a few minutes at the end of the day as he high-tailed it back to Bergen County in time for his children's sports.
If Kevin, Brian or Elyse played it, Mr. Travers coached it — even soccer, which he did not really like or understand. "He read books on the rules, started watching the games on TV and made a point of learning the game," said his wife, Rosemary.
Because of the limitations on his time, Mr. Travers, 44, often joined efforts with a neighbor, Maurice Curran, and between them they coached soccer, T-ball, even lacrosse. Mr. Travers had a way of putting both the children and their parents at ease. "When he talked to the little kids he'd always get down on one knee and look the kid in the eye," Mr. Curran said. "He never made anybody feel intimidated."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on August 25, 2002.