A prominent North Country family is sharing their passion for athletics and academics in order to benefit SUNY Canton students.
William J. (Bill) and Carol M. Coakley, Carol J. and Ronald J. Spadaccini, and Thomas F. (Tom) and Nellie E. Coakley, the owners of Coakley Carpet One Ace Hardware in Canton, recently made a gift to the SUNY Canton Foundation for the College’s new athletic facility. The family’s donation secured the right to name the Coakley Family Student-Athlete Study and Classroom in the new athletic office suite within the brand-new Roos House.
“The Coakley family is well known for their civic pride, involvement in the community, and willingness to assist others,” said SUNY Canton President Dr. Joseph L. Kennedy. “We’re thankful for the many roles they play within the College as mentors, coaches, and advisors. Their continued efforts make a difference in the lives of our students and the greater North Country community.”
The family decided to donate after seeing the benefit of athletics in each of their own children’s educations. The dynamic relationship of sports at all levels coupled with academic studies helped mold them into successful individuals. “The relationship between athletics and academics is absolutely critical,” said Tom Coakley. “For us, it was a natural fit to put our family name on a room that will reinforce the academic and athletic success of students at SUNY Canton.”
The Coakleys’ ties to the College span over several decades. Tom, Bill and Carol’s father, Robert J., often filled in as a construction instructor in SUNY Canton’s earlier days. Bill assisted the men’s ice hockey team for 15 years alongside Head Coach Terry Martin, during which time the team won many NJCAA Championships. Tom has been a member of the SUNY Canton Foundation Board of Directors since 1981, is a member of the Finance and Investment Committee, and serves with his wife, Nellie, on the Service Members Advisory Board.
“We’re excited and proud to be a part of the College’s growth and success,” Bill said. “SUNY Canton’s commitment to Canton is evident in this new facility and its continual push for growth, which brings with it plenty of opportunities and revenue to the North Country.”
The family was the recipient of the Canton College Foundation’s Community Leadership Award in 2008, honoring their leadership and commitment to the North Country community. Most recently, the Coakleys won both the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Syracuse District Family Owned Business of the Year award as well as the Region II award, including all of New York State, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The winner of the national award will be announced in May.
Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.