On Saturday, December 21, the William Floyd School District officially dedicated the William Floyd High School east gymnasium in honor of Bob Hodgson, the beloved coach, educator and family man who passed away suddenly in March 2012 from complications of a heart attack. The ceremony took place in front of packed stands filled with family, friends, colleagues, former students and players.
Hodgson, who joined William Floyd in 1989 as a health education teacher, immediately turned around the boys varsity basketball program which had won only one time in its previous 52 games. Throughout his 23-year career as head coach, Hodgson led the Colonials to a 265-190 record, three Suffolk County Boys Basketball Championships (1994, 1997 and 2012) and six Suffolk County League I Championships (1993, 1994, 1997, 2006, 2008 and 2012). He created the William Floyd Youth Basketball Program, served as president of the Suffolk County Basketball Coaches Association (1999-2001) and as vice president of the Basketball Coaches Association of New York (2011-2012). He was posthumously inducted into the William Floyd Athletic Hall of Fame in December of 2012.
Jean Dawson, Vice President of the Board of Education, was a member of the Board when Coach Hodgson joined William Floyd. “Those of us that believe in Floyd kids know that they can do anything if they are given the right leadership and tools to succeed,” said Mrs. Dawson. “Bob not only taught basketball, he taught our students life lessons that I know they carry with them to this day.” Mrs. Dawson also remembered Lynn Hodgson, Coach’s wife, who was also at each game selling snacks and helping support the team. Lynn passed away just six weeks after Bob in April of 2012.
“The William Floyd School community has great affection for our former teacher and basketball coach. We still feel a great sense of loss without him around,” said Paul Casciano, Ed.D, Superintendent of Schools, at the ceremony. “With today’s gym dedication, Coach Hodgson will always be in the house; this gym will always be his home court; and he will never be forgotten. His name will live on in this school and in this district for generations.”
At the ceremony, Rob Hodgson, Coach’s son and the current coach of the boys varsity basketball team who played under his father from 1989-1994, shared some basketball memories of his father and what he instilled in his players. “He taught us discipline and a work ethic that is required to achieve greatness,” he said, adding that in order to achieve greatness implies that there is some failure along the way. “‘Learn from those mistakes; learn every day and improve every day,’ is something that he used to say.”
Rob Hodgson and his siblings Ryan, Rex and Rose Gaudreau, unveiled the memorial plaque which will be placed on a wall outside the gymnasium underneath the words “Bob Hodgson Gymnasium.” The plaque lists his coaching accomplishments and also states: “Bob Hodgson is responsible for developing the William Floyd High School boys basketball program into one of the most respected in Suffolk County. His dedication to coaching has inspired and motivated countless students. His work as a coach transcended the basketball court as he helped students become more respectful and responsible people. Our boys basketball championships during his tenure are sources of great pride for our high school, district and community.”
Additionally, the inside of the gymnasium was refurbished with a new center logo and the words “Bob Hodgson Gymnasium” is emblazoned on the floor along with new mats bearing the name William Floyd Colonials. Commemorative t-shirts were sold at the event raising $250 for the American Heart Association in memory of Bob Hodgson.