‘Authentically extra’: Kings Park teacher remembered at friendly doubleheader

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Family, friends and former students gathered in Kings Park Friday for a friendly doubleheader honoring a teacher and JV baseball coach who passed away earlier this week.

Police say Michael McDermott, 37, of Smithtown, was jogging through St. James on Sunday, July 14, when a hit-and-run driver fatally struck him.

McDermott was a physical education teacher and coach the baseball team at William T. Rogers Middle School.

The doubleheader was organized by McDermott’s four brothers – Tom, Dan, John and Steve – and attended by approximately 75 people.

“It was great to get out on the field and play the game that Mike loved so much,” said Vin Taurassi – McDermott’s childhood friend and brother-in-law. “It felt like he was there with us.”

Tom McDermott described Michael, the oldest of the brothers, as “authentically extra” while eulogizing him at St. Phillips and James Church on Thursday.

“When I say ‘authentically extra’, I mean he lived every moment of his 37 years joyfully, effusively, energetically, and unapologetically in a way that was 100% genuine to who he was,” he said.

Keith Clancy, 32, of Mattituck was arrested near exit 69 on the Long Island Expressway about a half hour after the incident in St. James.

News 12 reported that he was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a license. His license was revoked following a previous DWI. The prosecutor said it’s likely Clancy would face upgraded homicide charges. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.

MORE: Police: 37-year-old man killed in St. James hit-and-run 

McDermott was a father to three young children - Leila, Ryan and Sienna – and a husband to Lorraine McDermott – a teacher at Accompsett Middle School. Coincidentally, Ryan and Leila each had walk-off hits during 2-1, 3-2 victories.

As of 5 p.m. Saturday, a GoFundMe campaign for the McDermott family had reached nearly $170,000.


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