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Funeral Held For Legendary Bergen Coach, Parcells Mentor 'Mickey' Corcoran

William "Mickey" Corcoran
William "Mickey" Corcoran Photo Credit: COURTESY: Frech Funeral Home

DUMONT, N.J. – A funeral was being held Thursday morning for William "Mickey" Corcoran, a longtime coach, official and athletic director who mentored former New York Giants and Jets coach Bill Parcells throughout his career.

Corcoran died Sunday of what family members said was a brain tumor. He was 93.

Corcoran, who received his Master's degree from Columbia University, "put all [his] education to good use teaching, coaching and mentoring young men and women for the remainder of his wonderfully blessed life," an obituary posted by Frech Funeral Home in Dumont reads. "To the very end he was grateful for his family and his many wonderful friends and colleagues who so enriched his life."

Born in Englewood in 1922, Corcoran played basketball at what was once St. Cecilia High School for legendary coach Vince Lombardi, who gave him the nickname "Mickey Mouse" because of his height.

He also played basketball in the Navy during World War II under another legend, John Wooden, who later dominated college basketball as coach of the UCLA Bruins.

Corcoran, in turn, coached Parcells in basketball at River Dell High School in Oradell and became a lifelong friend.

"He was everything that a 14-year-old guy needed," Parcells wrote in his 2014 autobiography, "Parcells: A Football Life." "He was a coach, a teacher, a disciplinarian, a butt kicker."

Corcoran later was credited with boosting Bergen Jamboree high school basketball tournament, the Bergen County Coaches Association and sports programs at Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, where he was athletic director.

He also established girls teams in softball, volleyball and basketball at Northern Highlands before it was the law, and officiated high school basketball games for 32 years.

After retiring, Corcoran attended practices and traveled as an unpaid consultant during Parcells' eight years with the Giants.

Corcoran is survived by his wife, Dolores, daughter JoAnne Kehoe and sons Michael, Billy (USMC, retired) and Mark and 13 grandchildren. Daughter Patricia Leightenheimer died in the early 2000s, according to the New York Times.

The funeral Mass was at St. Mary’s R.C. Church in Dumont.

Contributions to the “Mickey Corcoran Memorial Scholarship Fund” benefit high school scholar athletes (checks payable to BCCA and noted “Mickey Corcoran Memorial Scholarship Fund”). Address: Bergen County Coaches Association, 235 Airmont Rd., Mahwah, NJ 07430.

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