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By Jeff Benjamin

A Column appearing every two months informing people about the POSITIVE things which are going on in the Staten Island running community.

February 4, 2002 - In what has to be one of the least publicized stories regarding a local coach, McKee/Staten Island Tech track coach Willie Cicioria officially gave up the reigns of the Boys track team this past December. In his 9 years as the Coach of MSIT, Coach Cicoria took over a very small, pretty non-existent program and brought them to the heights of championship distance running.

A former distance star at Tottenville, Coach Cicoria, using his wealth of knowledge as well as intense motivation, coached his boys into believing they could achieve great things for themselves, and it paid off. Cicoria's Seagulls teams won four borough championships, two Staten Island championships, and three New York City championships!!

It was also not unusual to see many of Cicoria's runners dip easily under the 5-minute mile barrier. Some of the more noteworthy names of MSIT stars included Doug Auer, Chris Ludwig, and Dan Treglia. What is also a great tribute to any High School Coach is to see their charges still running after High School, as many MSIT alumni participate in local track events and road races after they graduate.

So, good luck to Coach Willie Cicoria on his future ventures. If he approaches them with the same intelligence, passion and skill, he will, as he has shown in the past, achieve spectacular results.

By the way, Coach, if you're reading this, don't feel embarrassed. You're just getting credit where credit is due.