Track and Field Coach
W. Harold “Skip” O’Connor
O'Connor, who died on Feb. 6, 1995 at age 90, was the biggest little man (5 feet-2) in the history of Concord and Carlisle sports. For 56 years, he coached track and field and he was a legend in the sport.
In addition to his coaching ability, O'Connor was a prolific writer and he was a lecturer who was hired by the State Department and traveled to Argentina and other South American Countries dispensing his vast knowledge about track and field.
Following a 20-year career coaching at Concord High and Concord-Carlisle High School, he became only the third head coach in the history of Holy Cross track and field. He coached the Crusaders for 10 years until he retired in 1977 at age 71.
Tonight O'Connor enters his fourth Hall of Fame. Previously, he was inducted into the College of the Holy Cross and the Rhode Island and the Massachusetts State Coaches Halls of Fame.
During his career, which began at Burrillville High School in Rhode Island, O'Connor won over 400 dual meets and 56 championships. Many of those championships were won in Concord where he captured a string of titles and coached countless track and field stars.
So many athletes stand out, but none more so than Val Muscato, the great former Concord High runner who swept to the national schoolboy championship in the 440.
Following high school, Muscato went on to the University of Notre Dame where he captained the Fighting Irish track team and was named Italian National Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Like his mentor, O'Connor, Muscato, who died on Jan. 13, 1991, became a widely respected coach and educator at Oliver Ames High School.
In addition to his coaching and teaching duties (he taught English), O'Connor was the athletic trainer at both CHS and CCHS. Whether he was coaching, teaching or wrapping the ankles of sprinters or football players, he was a guiding light, a wise and witty educator who spent a lifetime serving youth.