Dan Popera, longtime Archbishop Curley teacher and basketball coach known for stressing fundamentals, dies

1 year ago

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Dan Popera, longtime Archbishop Curley teacher and basketball coach known for stressing fundamentals, dies || Super Admin

Event Details
High School Basketball 2024
Date: Monday, March 11, 2024
Time:In Progress
Stream:High Schooll Basketball Live On-Demand(Free Trial)

Dan Popera, a longtime business and also audit instructor at Archbishop Curley Senior high school that spent 25 years as the Friars' head basketball instructor, passed away March 5 at Greater Baltimore Medical Facility of issues from a current surgical treatment. He was 76.

Associates bore in mind Mr. Popera as a "Baltimore basketball legend" who took a competitive, no-nonsense approach to the sport, transforming the team over the span of his occupation.

Born in Baltimore to John and also Mary Popera in 1946, Dan Popera matured in the Canton area as well as participated in Mount Saint Joseph Secondary School and also what was then Loyola University, where he examined audit. After finishing, he ended up being an accounting professional at McCormick & Co., however left the work since he "didn't like resting at a workdesk," his child Karen Roberts claimed. He began to show business as well as trainer basketball at Curley in 1974.

On the court and in the classroom, Mr. Popera was "Mr. Rudiments," an old-school coach and also teacher that really did not endure flashiness.

As a trainer, that meant regard for simple deal with the court.

" He's definitely a layup individual, not a 3-point shooter," claimed Marty McGinty, the chair of Curley's physical education division.

During Mr. Popera's period, the Friars went from being a "perennial doormat," as a sporting activities reporter for The Sun wrote in 1974, to a fierce competitor in the Baltimore Catholic Organization.

Baltimore Catholic League Commissioner Jack Degele, who was a colleague of Mr. Popera's at Mount Saint Joseph, called Mr. Popera a "Baltimore basketball legend."

" He's a real gentleman," Mr. Degele stated. "He was enjoyed by his peers, his trainers and it's a huge loss not only to his family and also the BCL, however the whole Baltimore basketball community."

In addition to the video game, Mr. Popera highlighted life lessons; coworkers said his gamers discovered respect as well as the demand to be timely, along with the value of effort as well as staying humble.

" You can see his style of coaching was about greater than just the sport," claimed Barry Stitz, a Curley alumnus that is currently the institution's vice head of state for advancement. Mr. Popera was Mr. Stitz's professors advisor when Mr. Stitz returned to teach at the institution in 2000.

" He was certainly old school, which's why many individuals appreciated him," Mr. Stitz claimed.

Mr. Popera coincided in the classroom, coworkers said. He was difficult, yet earned the regard of his pupils via his justness as well as command of the topic. He began the institution's audit program, as well as was the business division's chair at several points throughout his tenure.

" He was all about no faster ways, strive, make the kids earn it," Mr. McGinty said. "He was an old throwback that you simply look up to."

Under Mr. Popera's tenure as trainer, the Friars took home the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference championship in 1996, beating The Park Institution of Baltimore, 63-46.

He was also a long time supervisor of the Friar Basketball Camp, and also invested 37 years on the staff at Coach Wootten's Basketball Camp, run by famous DeMatha Catholic instructor Morgan Wootten.

Mr. Popera retired as head instructor at Curley in 1999 with a program-record 274 victories. He continued training at the institution up until 2012.

After retiring, Mr. Popera continued to coach leisure sporting activities, motivated by his frustration when a family member's trainer was focusing on 3-pointers rather than the principles. He trained his granddaughter's travel group, as well as proceeded training up until his fatality.

He consistently checked out Curley to view basketball games, likewise dropping in for other Friars video games as well as asking Mr. McGinty to save him a seat.

Long after his retired life, Mr. Popera continued to run a dream football league for his colleagues at Curley along with a March Madness bracket with an infamous $2 buy-in.

For about three decades, in spite of demonstrations from some colleagues who wanted to wager extra, Mr. Popera never ever elevated the buy-in.

" He wanted everyone to be entailed," Mr. McGinty said.

Almost as classic as Mr. Popera's practical leadership design as well as $2 buy-ins were the coach's clothing.

" He would certainly always use these plaid, vivid coats. They were most likely stylishly at some point, however he never ever quit using them," Mr. Stitz said. "He just really did not intend to toss out any perfectly good clothes."

Mr. Popera was a physical fitness fanatic, typically found in the institution's fitness center during his downtime and also appreciating golf and also strolls for recreation.

" He was exceptionally energetic," Mr. McGinty claimed. "He had the body of a 22-year-old. It was amazing."

In spite of Mr. Popera's being externally old-fashioned, his youthful heart encompassed his love of sports. He was a follower of Baltimore sports teams, able to offer his viewpoint concerning any type of Orioles as well as Ravens gamer at a moment's notification.

"He still had a youngster's heart and a child's attitude when it involved the game," Mr. McGinty claimed.

Mr. Popera was called The Baltimore Sun's All-Metro Coach of the Year in 1978. He was inducted into the Curley Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017, was identified in 2022 as an Archbishop Curley Cornerstone Day guest of honor, and was introduced as a part of the 2023 BCL Hall of Popularity course prior to his fatality.

Mr. Popera is endured by his partner of 54 years, Katherine; his daughters, Karen Roberts of Eldersburg and Beth Krahl of Towson and their youngsters, Bailey, Matthew as well as Megan; as well as his sister, Bernadine Stogoski of Bel Air. He was preceded in fatality by his moms and dads in addition to his brother or sisters, Leona Daniecki and also Benedict Popera.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church in Parkville, his home town, Friday.

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