One of the giants of Palm Beach County sports from half a century ago has left us.
Bob D’Angio, coach and teacher to hundreds at numerous area schools, died Monday in Vero Beach just a few weeks shy of his 95th birthday.
D’Angio was best known as the coach of three state runner-up teams at Forest Hill High School in the 1960’s. Twice his Falcons lost the championship game in extra innings, to Cantonment Tate in 1962 and to North Miami in 1964.
The last title-game loss, 3-0 to Pensacola Escambia in 1965, was D’Angio’s final game as coach. He retired immediately afterwards, having gone 74-7 over a four-year stretch.
Long-time residents will also remember Bob, born in Brooklyn, as a favorite teacher at Conniston Junior High and St. Anne’s School. He was an assistant on the legendary 1952 Conniston football team of head coach Hank Martin. That group finished undefeated, untied and unscored-upon, with a 40-0 postseason win over a group of all-stars from other county junior high schools.
An educator long after his coaching career ended, D’Angio was the first provost of Palm Beach State College’s north campus when it opened in Palm Beach Gardens in 1982.
A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at Palms West Funeral Home in Royal Palm Beach. Hoping the word gets out because those who knew West Palm Beach 50 years ago, a small town blessed by a legacy of first-class coaches in every sport, will surely want to be there.