Hoboken will rename the city’s Multi Service Center hockey rink after coach and resident Johnny Ray “Diddle” McDonald Jr., who died last month at the age of 58.
McDonald Jr. had worked for the city’s Recreation Department for nearly 20 years, spending most of his adult life coaching and mentoring the city’s youth.
He founded the city’s first children’s instructional hockey program, supervised the city’s minor league baseball and instructional baseball programs, and coached and mentored children in the youth basketball program. He also founded an adult roller hockey league and was among the founders of the Church Square Men’s Basketball League.
“Coach Diddle’s commitment to Hoboken’s children will forever be memorialized at the Multi-Service Center, where he dedicated so much of his time to instilling our youth with drive, confidence, patience, teamwork, and a love of the game,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla in a statement.
“His dedication to the city and passion for instructing will always be remembered, not only by us at City Hall, but in the hearts of the generations of children he mentored on a daily basis.”
The city will host a dedication ceremony later this year on a yet to be finalized date, where a plaque memorializing the rink as the “Johnny Ray McDonald Jr. ‘Diddle’ Hockey Rink” will be installed.