William J. McKeever,
85, died Thursday, December 27, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. He was born February 21, 1933, and was a long-time resident of West New York, New Jersey. He was a graduate of St. Joseph of the Palisades High School where he excelled in sports and was the captain of the football team his senior year. After high school, he attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, but left and enlisted in the United States Army where he fought in the Korean War and earned a Purple Heart. He is also a graduate of St. Peter’s College.
McKeever is survived by his sister, Kathleen Rubino, and brother-in-law, Dr. Thomas J. Rubino, of Barnegat, NJ; nephew, Daniel McKeever and wife, Jaime, and their children Michael, Patrick, and Kathryn of Madison, NJ; nephew, Thomas W. Rubino, Esq., and wife, Jenn, and their daughters Reagan and Rylie of Langhorne, PA; niece Suzanne Rubino and Freddie Auferio of Cedar Knolls, NJ; niece Maura McKeever of Red Bank, NJ; niece Megan McKeever of Eatontown, NJ. He was predeceased by his parents, William and Jane McKeever, and brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Eileen McKeever.
McKeever was inducted into the St. Joseph of the Palisades High School Athletic Hall of Fame as part of the 1950 State Champion basketball team. He was also inducted into the Union Hill High School, St. Peter’s College, and Hudson County Sports Halls of Fame following his prestigious basketball coaching career that spanned more than 45 years. His coaching career began with assistant coaching positions with St. Peter’s Prep and North Bergen High School. In 1966, he became head coach at the former Union Hill High School in Union City where he remained until 1979. His Hillers teams won four NJSIAA Group III sectional championships during those years. He coached a number of great players, including Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Nick Galis, who had a standout professional basketball career in Greece where he “is considered Greece’s top athlete of all time.”
After his time at Union Hill, McKeever also served as assistant coach for men’s teams at St. Peter’s College and Kean College. The last 13 years of his coaching career was spent as assistant coach for the women’s basketball team at St. Peter’s College. The Peahens won five MAAC championships and made five trips to the NCAA Tournament during his years.
McKeever retired from Union Hill High School where he was a history teacher. He was known for his generosity and kindness as well as being a great storyteller and awesome uncle.
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