Campus mourns loss of beloved coach
Coach jeff Wilds offers encouragement to a baseball player.
Penn State Greater Allegheny men’s baseball assistant coach Jeffrey Wilds passed away suddenly on January 19, 2017. He was 47.
“Jeff was not only a coach but also a mentor to his team members. He loved the sport of baseball and it showed in his dedication to his job and to his players. The guys looked up to him for motivation and inspiration. He will be missed by his team members and all of us here at Greater Allegheny,” said Korie Morton-Rozier, the campus athletic director.
Wilds joined Penn State Greater Allegheny in 2014. His love of the sport extends back to childhood, where he played for various teams, including P.A.L. and N.C.A.A. youth teams, Norwin High School, Norwin American Legion, the Daily News League, Westmoreland County League, and the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg where he also served as manager.
The Penn State Greater Allegheny Men's baseball team. Coach Jeff Wilds is pictured on far left.
To show their appreciation, members of the Greater Allegheny baseball team will be wearing patches in his memory for the remainder of the season. The team members wore their uniforms as they served as pall bearers at Wilds’ funeral, which was held January 24. Wilds was laid out wearing his Penn State Greater Allegheny uniform. In his formal obituary by Ott Funeral Home, his family expressed their sentiments to the team. “To the Penn State Greater Allegheny baseball team, the Wilds family fully understands and appreciates how much you meant to Jeff. He cared about each and every one of his players. Remember his spirit and his lesson as you battle through the upcoming season.”
Wilds is survived by his wife, Teri and daughter, Samantha and her fiancé Robert Lauricia, and his brother, Brian.
Employee's memory lives on through the students
Terry Reilly’s Facebook posts were full of craft ideas from Pinterest and photos and memes about the Pittsburgh Pirates. She was a fierce fan of the Pirates and always took the time to talk about their wins and their losses. She supported them regardless of their outcome. That’s just how Terry was…a diehard Pirates fan and a loyal friend.
When Terry was diagnosed with cancer, the entire campus signed a gigantic homemade card and sent it to her. Everyone knew and loved Terry and no one hesitated to sign the card.
Photos donated in memory of Terry Reilly were auctioned at All That's Jazz to raise money for student scholarships.
After her first bout with the disease, Terry returned to work and was as vibrant and funny like she always was. It was obvious that her humor was not lost, nor was her love for her friends, family and especially her grandchild. That’s what made her loss so difficult for the campus.
But Terry’s memory lives on through the students. A friend that worked with her knew a photographer who graciously donated several framed prints to the campus’ All That’s Jazz Scholarship Benefit to be placed in the auction. These photos raised money in Terry’s memory for student scholarships and one print hangs above the fireplace in the Garwood home.
Victoria and Donald Garwood are both employees at Greater Allegheny and they purchased the print knowing that the money would support students in Terry’s memory. “It is such a beautiful and creative print that when I saw it, I knew I had to have it,” said Victoria Garwood. ”The fact that it is in Terry’s memory, made it all the more special for me to own. When I look at it, I think of her and all the memories she created for us while working at Greater Allegheny.”
The employees of the Housing and Food Department, where Terry worked, also made a donation to have an engraved brick placed on the Paving the Way path in front of the Student Community Center on campus in Terry’s memory. Laura King, development director at the campus said “This is such a loving tribute that can be viewed every day as people walk past it and think of Terry. I’ve heard so many incredible stories about her. Her spirit will definitely live on in this remembrance.”
Terry Reilly is survived by her son Wayne, his wife Angie, granddaughter Mila, and brothers and sisters.