SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (BVM) — It’s safe to assume that Rich Reichert has had an impact on hundreds of prep athletes. As the former coach of St. Anthony’s High School football for 32 years, Reichert will be honored with an induction into the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame next year.
Rich Reichert took over the St. Anthony’s Friars program in 1987, after being on the coaching staff for a couple of seasons previously. During his tenure at the school, Reichert led the Friars to a 265-64-3 record and 14 Catholic High School Football League (CHSFL) AAA titles. His 265 wins is the most in Suffolk football history.
Reichert helped turn St. Anthony’s into a powerhouse program during his time as head coach, leading the Friars to 28 winning seasons. In his stretch run, the team reached historic heights with a 64-game win streak from 1998-2007. Reichert also led St. Anthony’s to 31 CHSFL AAA playoff appearances. During his time in South Huntington he coached over 1,200 players.
The Friars finished 7-2 in Reichert’s final season, 2018, before losing in the CHSFL semifinal to Cardinal Hayes High School.
In his final regular season game against Iona, Reichert was surprised with over 300 former players showing up and greeting him with hugs and handshakes in the pregame tunnel. Players and teammates from over five decades showed up to appreciate the accomplishments that had been achieved. The impact that this coach has had on the community cannot be understated.
Reichert graduated from St. Anthony’s High School in 1970 before attending St. John’s University. While a coach, Reichert was also a local Nassau County police officer. After 23 years, Reichert retired from his job as a cop in 2003. His decision to leave the sidelines in 2018 was based on family and opportunity. Reichert wanted more time to spend with his wife, his three kids, and his grandson.
The Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame will honor Reichert along with 19 others for their commitment to helping sports in Suffolk County. The 2020 class will be enshrined on May 12, 2021 for their contributions after this year’s ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19.