HAROLD LEROY HANDCHEN, 86, of BRICK, died Tuesday, Dec. 5, at his home, after a long illness. He was the first athletic director at Brick High School, Brick, for 24 years, retiring in 1982. Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., he lived in Montgomery, N.Y., before moving to Brick in 1958. He was a World War II Navy veteran. He served on the landing of the Sicilian Invasion. His ship then went to Pearl Harbor to be equipped for the invasion of Tarawa and Kwojalein in the Pacific. After his return, he began his coaching career at jobs in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. In 1952, he started the Physical Education Program in Brick in 1954. He went to Montgomery, N.Y., to become Director of Athletics and basketball coach. He was Coach of the Year his last year there. He returned to Brick in 1958 as Director of Athletics and Basketball Coach at Brick High. In his second year as coach, the team made the State Tournament and won the Christmas Tournament in Hightstown. The following year, they qualified for the State Tournament and again won the Christmas Tournament. He then resigned the basketball coaching position to concentrate on his position as Athletic Director. In 1960, Harold joined the Brick Lions Club, serving as president twice. He also served on the State Ice Hockey Committee in 1965. In 1982, the first annual Handchen Cup was played. He started youth soccer in 1963 then went on to serve as president of the Shore Soccer Officials Association in 1965. He was honored in 1972 when he was inducted into the the Soccer Officials Hall of Fame. Additionally, he was the golf coach at Brick High from 1968 to 1978 and went on to start the Ocean County Golf tournament in 1975. Upon his retirement in 1982, the East Gymnasium at Brick High School was renamed the Harold "Hank" Handchen Gym. Harold was also added to the Brick Wall of Fame in 2004. He resides with his wife Evelyn who is a retired secretary from the Brick Township School District. He was a member of Laurelton Baptist Church, Brick.
Surviving are his wife, Evelyn Giordano Handchen; two sons and daughters-in-law, Hank and Littany Handchen of Brick, and Rick and Crystal Handchen of Brick; a daughter and son-in-law, Diane and Roy Collins of Lanoka Harbor, Lacey; a stepsister and brother-in-law, Irene and Harry Kiggins of Pennsylvania; and four grandchildren, Kimberly and Timothy Collins, and Ashleigh and Kiersten Handchen.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to a hospice or to your favorite charity.