PISCATAWAY, NJ - Former long-time Rutgers cross country and track and field coach Les Wallack passed away on Sunday, Jan. 22. Wallack, who was 75. is survived by his wife Fern and children.
During his long tenure as coach at Rutgers, he produced many championship teams and championship student-athletes. Several student-athletes who were standouts under Wallack have been inducted into the Rutgers Olympic Sports Hall of Fame, including Pete Schuder, Tom Ulan, Mike Roche, Elijah Miller and Ron Speirs. All earned All-America honors under Wallack’s tutelage, with Roche being the first track and field athlete from Rutgers to compete in the Olympics (steeplechase, 1976).
Current Rutgers track coach Mike Mulqueen, who worked with Wallack during the late 1970s and early 1980s as an assistant, recalled the veteran coach as someone “who loved Rutgers track and field, and followed all of our results. We still carry on his philosophy of trying to field a complete team in all events. His support will be greatly missed.”
A memorial service for Wallack will be held on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Somerville Elks Club, 375 Union Ave., Somerville, beginning at 11 a.m. Coach Wallack’s wife Fern, and family, invites all former Rutgers student-athletes, staff and friends to attend the memorial services. For information call (908) 722-4634.
In lieu of flowers, the Wallack family requests that donations be made to the Lester C. Wallack Scholarship, and sent to the Rutgers University Foundation, Scarlet R Club, 7 College Ave., New Brunswick, NJ 08901. For questions or additional information, contact Josh Hodes in the Department of Athletic Development at (732) 932-7629.