Ocean City High School Athletic Hall of Fame

- The Coaches -


To nominate a former Red Raider for the OCHS Athletic Hall of Fame, use this Nomination Form.

Coach Phil Birnbaum(Tennis - Inducted 2017)
Phil came to OCHS after a successful tennis career at Glassboro State College. He became head coach of the boys tennis team in 1970 and compiled a 441-205 record in 31 years, including 10 Cape-Atlantic League titles and five South Jersey championships. He also became the girls tennis coach in 1986, compiling a 221-101 record in 15 seasons, winning four more South Jersey titles. His overall total of 662 wins is the most by any OCHS coach in any sport. After retiring as a high school coach, Phil started the womens tennis program at Stockton University where his teams were 49-19 in the NJAC. The longtime director of Ocean City's summer tennis program, Birnbaum has won numerous Coach of the Year awards in high school and college.
Coach Jack Boyd (Football - Inducted 2002)
His teams won 227 games, also winning the South Jersey Group 2 championship in 1971-72 and Cape-Atlantic League title in 1972-73. His teams also lost in CAL playoffs in 1969 and 1983. Boyd won 20 state tournament games and he coached 381 games, setting a record for a boys basketball coach at OCHS. He took over when Dixie Howell retired in 1968.
Coach Fenton Carey(Football, Swimming, Track & Basketball - Inducted 1989)
Carey, a player at Ocean City in the 1930s, coached football for 10 seasons, winning 61 games and losing just 26. He got off to a great start, winning 31 games over his first four seasons. His coaching career was interrupted for one year when he spent 1951 on active duty with the US Navy. The high school's field at Sixth Street was re-named in honor of Carey and his brothers, John and Lou, in the 1980s. Carey brought swimming back to OCHS in 1956, resuming a full schedule in 1958, and promptly guided the Raiders to new heights. His teams had 11 consecutive winning seasons. Overall, he was 115-33 as a swim coach, mostly against big schools from throughout the Delaware Valley. Carey's swim teams also won five relay titles and two New Jersey Seaboard championships. His track teams were 52-13 with seven CAL titles. And his basketball teams were 41-17 with one league title.
Coach Mike Slaveski (Football - Inducted 1992)
Slaveski became head coach in 1969. It took a few years but his 1972 team was 8-1, starting a string of winning seasons and a 28-9 record over his final four seasons. When he stepped down as head coach, Slaveski's record was 36-26-1. But he developed a systematic approach to Ocean City football that had an influence on all four of his successors - Ed Woolley, Tony Galante, Wayne Colman and Gary Degenhardt.
Coach Ralph Carson (Golf - Inducted 2017)
Ralph took over the Ocean City High School golf program in the mid-1970s. The Raiders had a team the four previous years but were not making much progress. After two years of building the program, he produced 12 straight winning teams and back-to-back Cape-Atlantic League and NJSIAA District 8 champions. From 1979 through 1982 his teams had a combined record of 65-5, including a 32-match win streak. His overall coaching record of 181-70 works out to a .721 percentage, No. 1 among all-time OCHS golf coaches. He also worked as a teaching golf professional outside of school. After he died, a memorial golf tournament was created in his honor with the proceeds creating a college scholarship.
Coach Gary Degenhardt (Football - Inducted 2019)
After investing many seasons as an assistant football coach at OCHS, Gary became the head coach in 1991. He had two losing seasons in his first three, sandwiched around a Cape-Atlantic League champion, but things started to happen in 1994. He put together a string of eight straight winning seasons that produced five CAL champions and three South Jersey champions. That included the 1996 team, inducted into the OCHS Sports Hall of Fame in 2018, that finished 11-0 and won the South Jersey Group 4 title by outscoring two opponents, 75-14. The team was ranked No. 1 in South Jersey, No. 3 in the state and No. 8 in the East by USA Today. Gary finished his career with a school record 101 wins, the 10th highest total in CAL history.
Coach Pat Dougherty (Basketball - Inducted in 1990)
Dougherty finished her remarkable career with a 269-65 record, including 119 straight victories and nine CAL championships in 14 seasons. She came to OCHS from Atlantic City, her alma mater, where she was head coach for two seasons. Her 1978-79 team won the South Jersey championship in their fourth straight appearance in the final, but lost in the state final to Paramus Catholic, led by 6-7 Anne Donovan, a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
Coach Dixie Howell (Basketball - Inducted 1989)
Over 16 seasons, Dixie's basketball teams won two state championships, three South Jersey titles and nine CAL crowns. His teams were 277-69, including 48 straight wins and eight consecutive league championships, still a record for the CAL's National Conference. Howell's baseball teams were 122-41 over 11 seasons from the mid-50s to the mid-60s, when he was succeeded by Fred Haack. His .748 won-lost percentage is the best in OCHS baseball history and his clubs won a half-dozen CAL championships. Dixie went on to become Ocean City's first Director of Athletics.
Coach Trish LeFever (Field Hockey - Inducted 2018)
Trish started field hockey at Ocean City High School and built it into one of the school's most successful sports programs and one of the finest field hockey programs in South Jersey. In 28 seasons her teams were 486-76 with 54 ties. They won 13 Cape-Atlantic League championships, nine South Jersey championships and seven state titles. During one stretch, her teams reached the South Jersey championship game in 11 of 13 seasons. LeFever's 486 victories are the most by any coach in any sport in Ocean City High School history. She has previously been selected to many coaching and field hockey Halls of Fame.
Coach Mike Naples (Track - Inducted 2002)
His teams won five South Jersey championships and two state titles. In addition, six more teams finished second in South Jersey and seven were among the top three in the state meets. Naples' teams also won 16 straight Cape May County championships and 13 Cape-Atlantic League titles. His overall record of 133-8 is the best of any OCHS coach in any sport.
Coach Mike Pellegrino (Soccer - Inducted 2018)
Mike helped elevate boys soccer, not only at Ocean City High School but in the Cape-Atlantic League as CAL teams enjoyed more success throughout South Jersey. In 12 years as the head coach at OCHS, Mike's soccer teams were 228-35 with 19 ties. They won 10 CAL championships, seven South Jersey crowns and either won or shared four state championships. His teams reached the South Jersey final 10 times. He also coached two teams - in 2005 and 2007 - to the championship of the prestigious South Jersey Soccer Coaches Invitational Tournament. Those two championships are equal to the number of Coaches Tournament titles won by all the other schools in the CAL, combined, as of 2017. Mike has previously been inducted into numerous Halls of Fame.


2018 Induction Ceremony Video