Former Army Head Cross Country coach, associate director of USMA Admissions and dean of West Point Prep School passes away Sept. 10

September 28th, 2017 | In Memoriam, News, News and Features
 Retired Col. Harold G. Beal Jr.

Retired Col. Harold G. Beal Jr. of Spring Lake Heights, N.J., passed away Sept. 10. Born in the Bronx, N.Y., on Feb. 3, 1929, Beal was a proud U.S. Army veteran who was stationed in Germany, Virginia and New York during his 30-year active and reserve military career, which included serving as the associate director of admissions and reserve affairs advisor from 1971-78 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

While at West Point, he also served as head cross country coach and was named the New York Colleges Coach of the Year in 1975.

He continued his affiliation with West Point after moving to Spring Lake Heights in 1980 and was academic dean of the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School at Fort Monmouth through 1995, where he also served as the head cross country coach.

While in the Army, he received the National Defense Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Legion of Merit Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal among others.

Beal was a 1951 graduate of Fordham University and earned master’s degrees from Columbia University in 1958 and CW Post in 1974.

His military education included graduating from the Command and General Staff College in 1970, The Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1972 and the Air War College in 1973.

A lifelong educator, he served in teaching, administrative and coaching roles at several schools including track & field coach at Bishop DuBois High School; a Latin and history teacher and track & field coach at All Hallows High School; and assistant principal, Latin and social studies teacher and track & field coach at Rye Neck High School, where he coached the school to its first Penn Relays championship.

He continued educating well into his late 70s and volunteered his time teaching reading at the Asbury Park Boys & Girls Club and coaching the St. Catherine’s Elementary School Cross Country team in his 80s.

Known as “Harry” to many, he was an accomplished basketball referee rising to the rank of a Big East official during the golden years of the Division 1 conference.

An award-winning athlete, he was a marathoner and triathlete well into his 80s competing at the local, national and world class age-group levels.

Beal was inducted into the New York Catholic High Schools Hall of Fame in 2001, as well as the Westchester County High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

He also received the Archdiocese of New York C.Y.O Volunteer Award from Cardinal Cooke.

He was a parishioner of St. Catharine & St. Margaret Parish in Spring Lake where he served as a lector.

He is predeceased by his wife of 65 years, Audrey. He is survived by three sisters Patricia Kelleher, Collette Cannon and Jane Casson, and seven children, 18 grandchildren and more than 20 great-grandchildren.