Return to Headlines

The Chester School District is sad to announce the passing of Chester Girls Varsity Basketball Coach Pete Rickard

We have recently learned the sad news that longtime Chester Girls Varsity Basketball coach Pete Rickard passed away after a courageous battle with cancer.

Coach Rickard was a standout athlete at Minisink Valley High School and Marist College and came from a family of notable athletes and coaches, including his daughter Sara Fandl, who coached Girls Varsity Soccer at Chester Academy during the 2017-2018 School Year. 

Pete Rickard came to Chester in 2008 and is credited with building the Girls' Basketball program into what it is today. He last coached at Chester in 2017 when he first became ill, although he continued to stay involved with the school, his players and coaches since that time.

Coach Rickard was known as an astute student of the game of basketball and excelled in teaching fundamentals and game strategy. Most important though, Coach Rickard was known for his dedication to his players and for promoting a family atmosphere on his teams. Every Saturday practice ended with Dunkin Donuts and orange juice and every year he organized a Secret Santa for his team. The lucky player that would receive her gift from Coach Rickard could expect a pair of socks two sizes too big! Coach Rickard was devoted to his players year-round, organizing off-season open gyms and attending non-basketball games and events in which his players were involved. He had confidence in his girls and went into every game believing they would win, even when they were outmatched and this often produced results they did not even expect. He also believed that preparation was critical to success, a belief that he summarized with the phrase "We have a game plan, and now we're going to dance!"

Pete Rickard was an uplifting and positive force. He made an impact on his players, their families, his colleague coaches and on our school. Coach Rickard will be greatly missed. 

Pete Rickard