August 19, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) Bernie Beglane was a multitasker decades before the word was invented.

''Mr. B.'' was a sports writer for 25 years, a freelancer for The Associated Press for almost 60 years, and an academic dean who founded the Athletic Administration program at St. John's. He could be interviewing one person while finishing a different story and dialing - yes, dialing - a phone to get more information, the correct information.

Beglane died Wednesday at his home in Hampton Bays after a long illness. He was 88.

Bernard Beglane was born in New York City on Jan. 12, 1927. He was in Fairfield University's second graduating class in 1952. He started his sports writing career at the Long Island Star-Journal later that year. He moved to the Long Island Press and was with the paper until it closed in 1977.

He started the program at St. John's in 1977 and through internships and career guidance, he was responsible for hundreds of students entering the sports field in various positions.

He had a special relationship with St. John's Hall of Fame coach Lou Carnesecca, one that spanned well over 50 years.

''We used to ref games together down at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Maybe two, three dollars a game,'' Carnesecca said. ''We were together again as writer and coach, both at St. John's and the years I was with the (ABA's) Nets.

''Loyal?'' Carnesecca asked before answering his own question. ''There was nobody in the world as loyal, as good a friend as Bernie. He was one of a kind.''

Chris Mullin, St. John's all-time leading scorer who went on to an NBA career that landed him in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, was a student of Beglane's.

''I did take his sports writing and public speaking courses,'' the first-year coach of the Red Storm remembered. ''It was at 8 a.m. He didn't care if we had a game the night before, we had to be there and be on time. Number One, it is the right thing to do. Number Two, he was really teaching us things that I wound up using when I worked at ESPN.

''When I think of St. John's he is one of the people on my mind. Coach Carnesecca, Coach (Jack) Kaiser, Mr. Beglane. He had that kind of influence and that kind of dedication to St. John's.''

Beglane and his program were big supporters of the Jackie Robinson Foundation that ''promotes education and leadership development for minority youth.''

Beglane was a freelancer for the AP at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, and through his 58 years with the wire service covered everything from World Series to equestrian to championship boxing.

He was predeceased by Kitty, his wife of 49 years who passed away in 2006. He is survived by three sons (Edward, Brian, Terence), a daughter (Bernadette) and 10 grandchildren.

Wakes will be held Friday at the New Hyde Park Funeral Home in New Hyde Park, and on Sunday at O'Shea's Funeral Home in Hampton Bays. A funeral Mass will be Monday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Rosalie's in Hampton Bays.

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