By DON STINE
Dave A. Dahrouge, a longtime gym teacher and the first athletic director at Ocean Township High School, died Tues., April 21. He was in his early 90s.
Ocean Township Mayor Christopher Siciliano said that Dahrouge was “a legend” in the township.
“He was a giant personality that came though Ocean Township and he was a legend around here. He always had something positive to say to people, no matter who they were. His contributions to Ocean Township are beyond measure and were blessed to have him here,” he said.
A township park at the intersection of Park Blvd. and Logan Road in the Wanamassa section was named in his honor, as is the training room at the High School.
“You have got to be someone special to have that happen and he deserved it,” he said.
Former student Sal Selletto said that Dahrouge was many good things to many people.
“His biggest trademark was his unmatched friendship and loyalty to everyone he met. Just such a great guy,” he said.
Selletto, who graduated from Ocean Township High School in 1973, had Dahrouge as a gym teacher. One day in his junior year he joked that he was going to show up at Dahrouge’s house on Christmas Eve- which he then did.
“And I have been doing that ever since. We missed seeing each other only one or two times in more than 40 years,” he said.
Selletto also said the Dahrouge was a great mentor both to himself and many others.
“Anytime you had a problem he was a great listener and a great advisor. He is going to be missed. He touched so many people in the community. Many people have wonderful stories about Dave,” he said.
Dahrouge graduated from Asbury Park High School in 1948 and from the University of Notre Dame in 1952. He then embarked on a career in the Ocean Township school system that continued for 50 years until his retirement.
He became the high school’s athletic director for boys and girls sports in 1965.
“He touched the lives of literally thousands of young athletes and his student trainer program sent hundreds of students on to college as trainers and managers, with some eventually going to medical school,” Siciliano said.
He was elected to the Jersey Shore Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 and worked every summer as a swimming instructor at the Seashore Day Camp.
Funeral arrangements are pending.