Ralph A. Dougan
1933 - 2021
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Ralph A. Dougan
Retired athletic director, coach, teacher A lifetime of service to community and state
Ralph A. Dougan, 87, of Manchester, NJ, formerly of Caldwell, NJ, peacefully passed away at home, after a brief illness, on Saturday, January 9, 2021, with his loving family at his side.
Ralph spent more than 35 years as a teacher, coach and administrator where he had a successful career in Athletics in New Jersey. A graduate of Harrison High School, He received an Athletic Scholarship to Seton Hall, where he was the Captain of the Soccer Team. and where he received his BA. He also received his MA from Rutgers, Ralph held Head Soccer Coaching positions at St. Peters College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Bloomfield College. He held teaching positions in Roseland, North Caldwell Public Schools.
He then went to West Essex High School. School where he was a teacher, coach and Athletic Director for 25 years.
During his time at West Essex, he started the Soccer program, and became an extremely successful soccer coach with a 150-20-32 record that included five state championships in 10 years.
He was also served in the US Army during the Korean War and as a Councilman in Caldwell.
In 1986, He was appointed by Governor Thomas Kean to become the Executive Director and Chairman of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports where he implemented many important programs.
Ralph is member of the Harrison High School and West Essex School Hall of Fames. He is also member of the NJ High School Hockey Hall of Fame.
In 1985, Ralph was the NJ Athletic Director of the Year. In 2009, Ralph was inducted into the Directors of Athletics Association of New Jersey Hall of Fame.
Surviving are his beloved wife, Mary (McDade); devoted sons, Ralph Dougan and Jeff Dougan and his wife, Lynda; grandsons, James and Anthony Grove and a great granddaughter, Amanda.
The family has trusted the Codey & Jones Funeral Home of Caldwell with the arrangements. A Mass at St. Aloysius Church and interment at Prospect Hill Cemetery are private at the request of the family. Please share a condolence with them at www.codeyjonesfh.com.
When we can all safely travel and gather a Memorial Service will be announced.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Star-Ledger on Jan. 12, 2021.
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Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by The Family
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4 entries
January 17, 2021
My sincere condolences to Ralph's family. Some of my greatest memories of my time spent teaching and coaching in N.J. involve Ralph and his Olympic Soccer Clinic. When Ralph invited me to join the staff, I was honored and appreciated the opportunity to work with the master. His enthusiasm for the sport and connection with the players impacted my growth as a coach. His commitment to making the Olympic Soccer Clinic a fantastic experience for all participants was obvious on a daily basis. He emphasized a personal connection with all players and assured that they not only learned the game of soccer, but had fun doing it. I especially remember the tricks some of us (Harry Habermas, John Esposito and I) played on Ralph to lighten his worries over the success of the Clinic. I valued his friendship and am saddened by his passing. However, the great legacy he leaves behind is the positive impact he had upon those fortunate enough to know him. Rest in Peace, Ralph!
Pete Chavonelle
Friend
January 15, 2021
Mr. Dugan was a great Athletic Director when I was in High School. He wrote a recommendation for me which helped me to obtain a scholarship to the University of Notre Dame for Field Hockey for which I am eternally grateful for his guidance and assistance, attending that school helped to shape my life. My Mom was Helen Rodgers who loved being Ralph’s admin for several years at West Essex. Mary, you and your family are in my prayers.
Mary Rose Rodgers-Patucci
Student
January 13, 2021
He was the best
Mike granelli fellow SPC .grad and coach and coach as well as back and coach
Friend
January 12, 2021
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
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