Curt Fischer has become synonymous for coaching excellence at Maple Grove Junior-Senior High School for more than a quarter century, guiding three different sports programs to New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships.
That’s certainly earns him a rightful place in the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
Joining Fischer in the 2018 induction class are Dick Cole, Lori Franchina, Sheilah (Lingenfelter) Gulas, the late Jim Riggs, Fran Sirianni, Clem Worosz and Phil Young. They will be formally honored at the CSHOF’s 37th annual banquet on Feb. 19 at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club.
Tickets for the induction dinner are $50 and can be purchased at Jamestown Cycle Shop, 10 Harrison Street, Jamestown; Matt’s News, 93 E. Third Street, Dunkirk; Tony’s Shoe Repair, 12 N. Portage Street, Westfield; and the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, 15 W. Third Street in Jamestown. Banquet reservations can also be made by calling chairman Chip Johnson at 716-485- 6991.
Growing up in Falconer, Fischer played, with distinction, any sport that was in season, but it was clear from an early age that he was born to be a coach. From an offensive lineman in the midget football league, he graduated to quarterback as a seventh-grader, a position he played throughout his tenure at Falconer Central School, including his years on the varsity under coaching legend Bill Race, another CSHOF inductee.
Three years after his graduation from FCS — he was a three-sport letter winner there — Fischer coached with Mark Petersen on Falconer’s junior high team, which was the launching point for a remarkable career. After spending years in various capacities at his alma mater, Fischer took the head coaching job at Maple Grove for the 1992 season.
Twenty-six seasons later, he’s still going strong.
Through the 2017 season, Fischer sports a 221-45 record with the Red Dragons, good for fourth on the Section VI career coaching wins list. Along the way, he has won nine sectional titles (two were as the merged Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake team in 2014 and 2015) and two state championships (in 1998 and 2008), and he sports two unbeaten and untied 13-0 seasons. Since arriving on the Dutch Hollow Road, Fischer has had just one losing season — 4-5 — in 2003.
But there’s more to Fischer’s coaching resume than what has transpired on the gridiron. In fact, he’s been the Red Dragons’ varsity basketball coach since 2004, highlighted by NYSPHSAA championships in 2008 and 2010; and has also coached softball and baseball, winning a state title in the latter while serving as the interim varsity head coach in 1992.
In other words, the kid who was born in Warren, Pa. in 1963 and who moved to Chautauqua County as an infant has the distinction of coaching three different sports programs at Maple Grove — two in football, two in basketball and one in baseball — to state titles.
That bulging resume makes him more than worthy of induction into the CSHOF.