R.A. Long High School Alumni Association
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Wed, 18 Oct 2017

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Former RAL Coach Ekegren Dies

Former R.A. Long head football coach and teacher Gary Ekegren died December 31, 2010. Coach Ekegren had been battling pancreatic cancer. Ekegren taught and coached at R.A. Long 1980-1989.

Coach Ek was far from a typical high school football coach. His World Problems class was just as challenging and his expectations were just as high as, if not higher than, his football program. Athletes often look back at their high school years and rank teachers who were also coaches as their favorite teachers. For me that's not true. I consider Coach Ek to be one of the best, if not the best, teachers I had while at R.A. Long because of his skills as classroom teacher. I appreciated the way he ran his classroom, the lack of "busy work," the respect, and the challenges presented on a daily basis. Ek made every day of senior year something to anticipate with pleasure.

Coach Ekegren remained interested in his players, students, and coaches. He wrote a letter to The Daily News congratulating RAL alumnus Rich Reeves ('86) on becoming RAL's principal in 2009 and the hall of fame induction for RAL alumnus and coach Fred Kalal ('57).

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