Ed Petrie, Legendary East Hampton Basketball Coach, Dies

Ed Petrie, New York State's winningest public high school boys basketball coach, always had his eyes on the scoreboard. Mr. Petrie died on Sunday at the age of 82. Gordon Grant

Ed Petrie, former East Hampton High School basketball coach and New York State's winningest public high school boys basketball coach, died early Sunday morning at Southampton Hospital, his family said. He would have been 83 next month.

His son Edward R. Petrie and his wife, Nancy Petrie, said he had not been ill. "It was sudden," Mrs. Petrie said. 

Funeral arrangements are still being finalized, according to the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton, but a wake is being planned for Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m., his son said.

"It's a tremendous loss" for the East Hampton community, said Howard Wood, who won a state championship under Mr. Petrie in 1977 and is now the coach of the East Hampton High School girls team. "He had two sons named Petrie, but he had dozens of other sons. He taught them so much about a lot outside of basketball."

Mr. Petrie earned the "love and respect" of not only his players, but also coaches throughout the state and even the country, Mr. Wood said. "Wherever you go, people know Coach." 

Mr. Petrie won 20 league titles, three county championships, and two state titles during his 52-year career. He set a state record for public high schools with 754 wins before retiring in 2010 after 41 years at the helm of the Bonackers. That same year, the basketball court at the high school was renamed Coach Petrie Court. Before East Hampton, he coached at Pierson High School in Sag Harbor, and during East Hampton's year on an austerity budget in 1979 he helped coach Bridgehampton to a state championship.

East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo, who played for Mr. Petrie's varsity in the 1980s and had been in his youth basketball program as young as 8 years old, said the coach "fostered a love for the game and pushed us to compete at the highest levels." He remembered the old East End league when East Hampton played Southampton and Bridgehampton, and the "rich rivalries and packed gyms. Friday night games were standing room only."

"He was tough on us, but we all knew why and the results backed him up," Chief Sarlo said. "We have a proud tradition and extended family of Bonac basketball alumni . . . thanks to Coach. Many of us have been exchanging texts, calls, and emails today, reminiscing on our days playing for Coach. It's a big loss for East Hampton, he will be missed." 

In 2012, Coach Petrie was among the inaugural class inducted into the East Hampton High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He was also a New York State Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. A native of Rye, N.Y., he led F.E. Bellows (now Rye Neck) High School in Westchester County to back-to-back county boys basketball championships before going on to play at Seton Hall. He was inducted into his high school's hall of fame in 2013. 

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Petrie is survived by another son, Michael Petrie, two daughters, Miriam and Cynthia, stepchildren, and grandchildren. 

A full obituary will appear in a future edition of The East Hampton Star.

Coach Ed Petrie in 2007Gordon Grant
Gordon Grant