Greg Dick, who served Christendom as its first basketball coach from the 1980s through the 1990s, passed away this past Monday, July 18. A decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, Coach Dick helped foster the athletics department at Christendom in its earliest days, leaving behind a legacy of incredible sportsmanship and robust Catholicism.
“Coach Dick was definitely a ‘people’ person who enjoyed engaging others. He was a man that, if you asked him for something, he would try his best to help you. He also provided us players with opportunities for humility, insisting that we play his alma mater, Fork Union Military Academy, every year. When we finally beat them in the winter of ’87/’88 it was — in our own small way — a tremendous feat. I wonder if Coach Dick replayed that game over and over in his mind,” says Fr. Tom Vander Woude, who is now the pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Gainesville, Va.
Born in 1941, Dick attended Fork Union Military Academy, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in history from the University of Virginia, where he was the president of Phi Kappa Alpha and the Honor Court. After earning his degree, Dick was commissioned as a U.S. Army Signal Corp Officer and served during the Vietnam War, after which he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.
After his time in the military, Dick settled in his home state of Virginia, where he became part of the Christendom College staff as head basketball coach after it moved to its current Front Royal, Va., campus. Despite not having a gymnasium of its own, the team had a strong leader in Coach Dick, who helped to promote strong virtues on and off the court in every member of the team.
“Coach Greg Dick showed great love and commitment to every player he ever coached and to Christendom College. His example of sacrifice left an imprint on us all and we will miss Coach Dick,” said Robert Pennefather, now a teacher at Seton School. Pennefather, a basketball prodigy, originally had a scholarship to play basketball at the Air Force Academy. After only a year, he transferred to Christendom and played the remainder of his college years under Dick.
A committed Roman Catholic, Dick was a member of the Knights of Columbus, and belonged to St. John the Baptist Parish in Front Royal, Va., and Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Winchester, Va.
A native of Winchester, Va., Dick is survived by one daughter, three sons, and one grandson, along with two sisters, two brothers, and fourteen nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will occur at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, Winchester, Va., at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 22, preceded by a viewing at 10:00 a.m.
May his soul, and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.