In Memory of...
Ted's sport journey started with Little League like many children around the country, but when he attended Fair Lawn High School, it was ultimately Lacrosse that he fell in love with. But that never changed his love of team sport and staying active in all sports when he arrived to Oradell. Ted was passionate and motivated in our community, helping our kids improve in so many sports in our town.
Ted was born in the Bronx, near Van Cortlandt Park, but his parents moved the family to Fair Lawn, NJ when he was school age. The second of four kids, the Hughes family was involved in all town sports and active in the Fair Lawn community and that's why it stuck with Ted so strongly when he reached our town. Ted was a 3-sport athlete in high school and went on to wrestle and play lacrosse for Boston College.
It was at Boston College that he was introduced to rugby, and was really a major factor in bringing rugby to the forefront in the Tri-State area. With that introduction, came responsibility and he embraced it. He formed a men’s club and was President of the Mid-Atlantic USA Rugby division. Not only that, he was also a board member, worked to introduce rugby into the New York City school system as an alternative sport to football and soccer.
Ted truly believed in youth sports and the importance of believing in each other as teammates and having team comradery on the field. Oradell Little League embraces this same mentality, starting with Tee-ball and having parent volunteers teach and build up our young players. Oradell Little League was a big reason we set our roots here before we had children. We watched as so many would lend a hand in everything from picture day to volunteer coaches to fundraising. It was a big team. It's what brought excitement to both Ted and I. Those that know and love baseball are what drives our Travel teams and increases our competition every season. It was that excitement that sucked us in when our children were of age to finally play.
Ted constantly loved to learn, and by being involved with the kids in our community, from baseball, to wrestling to lacrosse, you learn all of the time!
Do what you love, but love what you do more – never be afraid to learn new things, and appreciate all that is around you.
My friend Ted
Ted Hughes was a friend of mine. I’m not suggesting we hung out every weekend and went to each other’s weddings. We were friends because I had the same ideas about sports and the kids who played them as he did. I just didn't think I had the time to coach them. Ted convinced me I did...
I think about Ted every time I step on Grant field because that’s where we coached together most. Whenever I saw Ted, we’d pick up where we left off. It didn’t matter if I saw him at lacrosse or at Hoffman or Grant field one month later. He remembered everything we talked about, and the conversation would just continue from there.
Ted was just a good, honest guy and one of his most unique qualities was his coaching style. Ted Hughes was 100% active in the Oradell community for many years. He was a Commissioner for Tee-Ball, but also very active with other sports around town. He was dedicated to our kids, not only making sure they were winners on the field. He also made sure they were winners in themselves. Ted Hughes truly believed in making kids better people. He took the time to show them the right or wrong way of doing something. As those kids performed, they’d gain confidence. And that was why Ted was so special. He was truly passionate about what he did.
If you were a fly on the wall and never knew what coaching was before, you would learn a lot by his interaction with Oradell’s young athletes. Kids flocked to Ted, because Ted never gave up on them. They asked questions and he always had the answer. He did that with not only my own sons, but with many in our town.
When I told him I wanted to be a member of the Oradell Little League, he encouraged me to do so. He explained the importance of coaching and teaching and keeping kids positive. What started out as a part time gig for me soon became an enormous duty. It has since become something that I absolutely love. I saw the way kids would shine under my direction and it was totally gratifying to know that I had a part in that development. It was the best feeling in the world. It was clear, Ted helped me understand the importance of being a good coach, and for that, I will be forever grateful.
Ted Hughes was a friend of mine. He was everyone’s friend. But the hardest thing for me to get passed these days is the fact that while there are great coaches in our Oradell community, it will be the kids that will miss Ted most; his direction, his motivation, his smile as he sent them on the field. He did it right because Ted was passionate about making kids better. Not only in the sport, but in themselves.
This passage is dedicated to Ted. A good friend, a great father and husband, and one of best damn coaches I have ever had the pleasure of working with.
Thanks for the push, Ted. You were right... it's the best thing I've ever done.