In 1968, Lester Fein answered a United States State
Department request to coach, teach and counsel basketball
in the State of Israel. The four-month undertaking,
headquartered at the Wingate Institute for Physical
Education in Netanya, took him throughout the country.
It led to a lifetime commitment to supporting Wingate’s
programs and activities; in particular, the campus’ Nat
Holman School for Coaches.
From 1941 through 1967, Fein coached championship
basketball and volleyball teams at four New Jersey
high schools, as well at a U.S. military airbase.
His most successful year was the 1966-67 season, when his Weequahic High (Newark,
NJ) basketball team went undefeated (26-0) en route to capturing the New Jersey
State Championship. Weequahic was named “the No. 1 high school team in
the United States” and Coach Fein was honored as USA Coach of the Year.
Fein coached basketball at Riverdale Country School in 1941, were his youngsters
were Private School League Champions. In 1942, he led Woodridge High to the
Catskill Mountain League title and Interstate Sectional Championship.
Coach Fein entered the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942 and guided the Lakeland
AAF Florida team to the Third Air Force Championship.
Following World War II, 1946-49, Fein led Fallsburgh Central High to the Basketball
Interstate Sectionals three successive seasons, and four successive State Volleyball
Championships. Fallsburgh volleyballers were undefeated all four years!
Fein is celebrated most for his extraordinary 12 years of success at Newark,
New Jersey’s Weequahic High School, where he was both Chairman of the
Athletic Department and Athletic Director. Between 1955 and 1967, his Weequahic
basketball teams won three State championships–1962, 1966, 1967; seven
State sectional titles–1958-60, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1967; three Essex County
titles–1962, 1966, 1967; and eight Newark City League titles–1956-59,
1962, 1963, 1966, 1967. Fein’s success in New Jersey high school basketball
registered a 210-69 won-loss record, a .753 winning percentage!
Following successful college basketball careers, five of his high school players
went on to play in the National Basketball Association: Al Attles (Philadelphia
Warriors), Jerry Greenspan (Philadelpia 76ers), Dennis “Mo” Layton
(Phoenix Suns), Dana Lewis (Philadelphia 76ers), and Bill Manor (New York Knicks).
In all, more than 50 of his players were recipients of basketball scholarships
to major universities.
Fein is author of the books: The Tall & Short of It, Third Quarter-One
, and Everyone Can Play Volleyball
He is recipient of New York University’s (M.A.–1941) prestigious
Arch Award for Leadership; and, in 1988, he was one of the original inductees
to the Newark Athletic Hall of Fame.
Fein has served many years on the Executive Board of Maccabi USA/Sports For
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented annually, honoring those individuals
who have made significant contributions to the State of Israel and society
Of Blessed Memory