Dan O’Grady


Dan O'Grady
(Track Coach, 1950)


Throughout the history of Danbury athletics virtually every program, team or sport has suffered through bad times and has also enjoyed good times. Most teams have been more up than down at DHS but they all have gone through some tough times-all except Track and Field and Cross Country. The most consistently successful teams in the history of Danbury High School have been those two teams and the man responsible for starting this enduring legacy was none other than the man for whom the school track is named and for whom an annual meet at Danbury High is named, Dan O'Grady. Before coming to DHS in 1950 Coach O'Grady started a cross country and track juggernaut at LaSalle Academy in Rhode Island where he was the coach of both teams from 1943 through the 1950 season. In 1950 Coach O'Grady came to Danbury and became a legend again here in the Hat City. Coaching Cross Country and Track through his retirement in 1979 Coach O'Grady compiled a record of 206-46 in track and 311-56 in cross country. He also coached basketball in the 1950's and into the 1960's. The true worth of the man's life comes from the accolades made in his behalf from decades of people who were affected by that man in many ways. The number of people who were positively affected by Dan O'Grady, athletically and personally includes many Hall of Fame inductees who can't say enough about how much they appreciated all Coach O'Grady has done for them throughout their lives. The list of former athletes of his who went on to coach and influence other young men is impressive. People like Bob Taborsak of Danbury, Mark Goodwin of Bethel, Marty Sauer of Brookfield, 2008 Hall of Fame inductee John Osborne of Ridgefield and New Salem, and Jerry Bielizna of Barlow all played and ran for Coach O'Grady and used the lessons learned from the master to forge successful careers of their own. Dan O'Grady was inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Hall of Fame. He passed away at the age of 90 in 2003.