With Highest Honors

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Jeff Bieder (standing third from left) with family, including wife, daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren

Coach Jeff Bieder In Hall Of Fame

By Rochelle Maruch Miller

For 34 years, Jeff and Georgia Bieder have lived in Woodmere, where they are members of the Young Israel of Woodmere. By nature a private and humble individual, Jeff has never sought to publicize his impressive credentials and accomplishments. Recently, Jeff has been selected by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York for induction into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame. Jeff was chosen for this distinction following an extensive evaluation of his outstanding career. The induction ceremony is to take place on March 17, 2013 at the Heritage Hall of the Glens Falls Civic Center in Glens Falls, New York.

Growing up in a housing project in the mean streets of East New York, Jeff’s passion for sports was already ignited. Even at an early age he was determined to pursue a career in sports, a dream he saw to fruition, serving his profession of choice with distinction. What young Jeff did not know was that he would become one of the most honored and beloved New York City public high school coaches in history—indeed, one of the city’s premier coaches.

Besides having been a stellar basketball player in both high school and college in the 1960s, Jeff was also an outstanding coach at Hunter College.

After 34 years in the public sector, Jeff is still going strong at the age of 65 as the athletic director at Magen David High School in Brooklyn. He is also currently the director of one of the largest day camps in Brooklyn and has won numerous awards, among them three-time New York City Coach of the Year, New York City Coaches Association Man of the Year, and the Gatorade Coaches Care Award. Additionally, Jeff has been the subject of several magazine and newspaper articles which describe his great accomplishments.

Although Jeff has enjoyed great success on the court, many people feel his greatest accomplishment is how he interacts with players and students off the court, as well as how he has helped inner-city teens avoid the streets.

“Seeing these kids recognizing the value of teamwork and becoming successful is one of the most rewarding aspects of coaching,” says Jeff, who has been a source of inspiration and a positive role model to players for over three decades. Indeed, he has imbued his players with the self-confidence, determination, and perseverance to overcome challenges and to succeed in basketball and, ultimately, in any challenge they encounter throughout their lives.

“We all always knew that Jeff was a true gem. Now the whole world gets to have that knowledge as well,” wrote Rabbi Saul Zucker, principal of Magen David’s Celia Esses High School, in a memo sent to the faculty. “I know you join with me in congratulating Jeff on this awesome achievement and that you share in the immense pride for one of our shining stars! Way to go, Jeff! We always knew you had it in you! What a great role model for our students!”

For all of his professional accomplishments, Jeff’s greatest nachas is his beautiful family. Georgia, his lovely wife, is a former teacher who currently runs a successful learning center; they are the proud parents of three daughters, Rachel, Stacy, and Jaclyn; three sons-in-law; and ten adorable grandsons.

“My dad is truly remarkable,” says Jeff’s daughter Stacy Mayer with more than a hint of pride. “In addition to all of his coaching accomplishments he accomplished a great deal off the court with his family and players and students. He would come at 10 o’clock at night and practice basketball or softball with me even though he was exhausted. My dad turned down a dream coaching position at the University of Pittsburgh because he knew it would prevent him from being the dream father he always wanted to be, just like his dad was. My dad held his players and students to his own standards of excellence, exceeding the standards of the school. Winning was important but it wasn’t everything, and he needed his players to understand that.”

Stacy adds, “Our family means everything to my dad. He adores his grandsons and they adore him; he made jerseys for all of his grandsons with their names and “Team Bieder.” My dad is an amazing father; he has always been proud of us, whether we won or lost, as long as we were having fun and tried our best.”

An avid collector of baseball memorabilia, Jeff’s expertise extends well beyond sports. He is an impassioned advocate of the importance of exercise in maintaining good health. “So many kids spend hours sitting in front of a computer at the expense of getting any physical activity. Exercise should be an integral part of our children’s daily routine; our kids should be spending more time outdoors, weather permitting, engaged in supervised physical activity, with indoor exercise during inclement weather.”

Being selected for induction into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame is a tremendous honor. Jeff is one of the few Jewish coaches to be included. Some of the other prominent Jews in the Hall of Fame are Red Holzman, Nat Holman, and Dolph Schayes. Jeff is proud to have such great company!

As athletic director of Magen David’s Celia Esses High School, in which capacity he has served with distinction for the past decade, Jeff continues his legacy of inspiring boys and girls by promoting good sportsmanship and building sterling character. “I look forward to going to work each morning; it’s a pleasure to work with my students and colleagues,” he says. “It’s what I love doing.”

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