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Pascack Hills Gymnasium Named the Michael J. O'Brien Court

Pictured from Left to Right:  Glenn deMarrais, PH Principal; Kevin Kirkby, Mathematics Teacher & Head Baseball Coach; Michael J. O'Brien, Brian Hallowell, Board Member; Janet Bissinger, Board Vice President; P. Erik Gundersen, Superintendent of Schools; and Phil Paspalas, PH Ass't Principal & Athletic Director 

Mike has had a long and distinguished career at Pascack. After graduating from Iona College where he played baseball and basketball, Mike received his Masters of Arts in Teaching from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Upon completion, Mike began his teaching and coaching career in 1965 at Teaneck High School, teaching social studies and coaching basketball.  Mike left Teaneck and was hired in the fall of 1967 to teach history and be the head basketball coach at Pascack Valley Regional High School. Mike assumed the duties of head baseball coach in the spring of 1973.

In 1984, Mike moved on to the Hills and took over the basketball program and was the head coach from that year through 1998. Mike also did two stints as head baseball coach at Pascack Hills, winning many league, county and state titles. Some basketball highlights include winning 4 NBIL titles in a row (the only school/coach to do that in league history) and winning 3 NJSIAA State sectional titles. Upon his retirement from teaching in 1998, Mike did not fade off into the sunset. Mike coached basketball at Ramsey High School before returning to Pascack Hills in 2001 as the Assistant to the Athletic Director. In 2002, he was inducted into the NJ Basketball Hall of Fame. Mike continues to serve “The Cowboys” as an assistant basketball coach and volunteer baseball coach.

Mike’s record speaks for itself. 31 years as a head basketball coach; 14 as an assistant. 45 years coaching at Pascack and 50 years total. He amassed 425 wins as a head basketball coach with an over .600 win percentage. Mike was the first basketball coach in school history to win a State sectional title. His win total is 4th all time in Bergen County. In baseball, Mike was a head coach for 15 years and 15 more as an assistant. Mike is the only public school baseball coach to win the league, County, section and group State titles in the same season.  He also spent 12 years as the Director of Athletics here at Pascack Hills. All of this pales in comparison to the countless number of students and athletes that Mike has had a positive effect on. He has been and continues to be an inspiration to kids and coaches alike.