Suffolk Sports Hall of Famer James Gilhooley of Remsenburg Remembered

James Francis Gilhooley
James Francis Gilhooley

James Francis Gilhooley of Remsenburg died November 15 of complications due to COVID-19. He was 95.

In 1949, Gilhooley set the world record for flat track in the 600-yard indoor run at the Pioneer Club Championships; this record still stands today. He was inducted into the New York University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.

He graduated from NYU’s School of Education in 1950 and was the star of the men’s track team. He ran anchor on two national championship teams. He was five-time Metropolitan Collegiate Champion, three-time Metropolitan AAU Champion and five-time Penn Relay Champion. He was a member of two IC4A championship relay teams.

Gilhooley coached track at Riverhead High School for 25 years, leading teams to a 176-21 record with 86 straight victories from 1958–1974. He steered his athletes to 16 consecutive league titles. His teams won six sectional titles with four back-to-back championships from 1968–1971. His teams had two first place finishes in Suffolk County Relays. He retired as Riverhead High School athletic director and was inducted into the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.

Gilhooley served in the U.S. Army in 1950. He was a great skier, swimmer and tennis player and had a passion for all sports. He had a special love for the New York Giants and owned a seat for many years. He was also a member of the Swordfish Beach Club and the Westhampton Yacht Squadron.

Gilhooley is survived by his wife Sally, sons James and John, and daughter-in-law Dena.

Services were held at Werner-Rothwell Funeral Home in Westhampton Beach, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial on November 19 at Church of the Immaculate Conception in Westhampton Beach and interment at Westhampton Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate support for Independent Group Home Living in Manorville, ighl.org.

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