Ed MacDowell and Terry Lowe will be the first recipients of new awards named in honor of longtime FCIAC stalwarts John Kuczo and Ralph King while the conference will also induct seven new members to its Hall of Fame at the annual FCIAC Awards Banquet at 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 14, at the Norwalk Inn.
MacDowell will be the first recipient of the new John Kuczo Award. The FCIAC will annually present this Service Award to educational professionals who make or have made significant contributions to high school sports while exhibiting the leadership, integrity and professional qualities in the manner synonymous with John J. Kuczo, the longtime FCIAC commissioner now in the transition of handing over the reins to Fairfield Ludlowe athletic director Dave Schulz.
Kuczo was a teacher who had much success as a track and cross country coach at Rippowam High School in Stamford in the 1960s. His father, Paul, was one of the several men responsible for forming the FCIAC as a new conference in the early 1960s.
MacDowell was a longtime athletic director at Greenwich High School who was influential toward the success of the school’s sports programs that included many conference and state championships in so many sports. He was inducted into the FCIAC Hall of Fame in 2001.
MacDowell served in many capacities for the FCIAC for many years, including being the chairman of the wrestling committee from 1977-2008 and being an adviser to the conference’s Board of Directors. After he retired from his full-time stint as Greenwich High School’s athletic director, MacDowell was always willing to help fellow FCIAC schools in times of need as he served six tours as the interim athletic director at four conference high schools to keep their sports programs fully operational while those schools conducted their searches for their eventual full-time athletic directors.
The new Distinguished Coach Award is officially known as the Ralph King Award, which will annually recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the FCIAC. It is named in honor of a man whose professionalism was characterized by excellence in service to the FCIAC, the Connecticut High School Coaches Association and the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference.
King was a longtime successful boys’ basketball and boys’ soccer coach at Brien McMahon High School from the 1960s through the 1980s who has won many championships and awards. King and Kuczo have worked in concert together guiding the conference for the last few decades toward its continued success.
Lowe is a perfect first recipient of the Ralph King Award, given his great success as the head coach of the Greenwich High School boys’ swimming dynasty that has won so many conference and CIAC state championships for about five decades.
After a two-year stint serving his country in the U.S. Army, Lowe began his coaching career in 1966. This year his Cardinals once again captured a Triple Crown – winning FCIAC, CIAC Class LL and State Open championships – as they have done so many times.
Greenwich has won a combined 119 conference, state class and State Open championships in Lowe’s tenure and his teams have had a 555-41 record in dual meets for an amazing .931 winning percentage. His 2015-16 Cardinals won a ninth consecutive FCIAC championship and the 45th conference title in 46 years under Lowe’s guidance.
Along with the presentation of these awards, the FCIAC will also induct six more coaches to its Hall of Fame. The new inductees will be John Roper, Fairfield, cross country/track; Chip Salvestrini, Danbury, athletic director; Pete Tucci, Norwalk, baseball/football; Mo Minicus, Darien, field hockey; Tom O’Donnell, Darien, golf; and Bo Hickey, New Canaan, ice hockey.
The FCIAC will also honor the Coach of the Year awardees in all the sports throughout the three seasons.