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Former Hubs coach Messina dies at 63

February 01, 2007

Former North Hagerstown cross country and wrestling coach Patrick Messina, 63, of Clear Spring, died at his home Wednesday morning.

He guided the North boys team to its first and only Maryland state title in 1972, and also coached several individual standouts, including Marine Corps Marathon course-record holder Jeff Scuffins and two-time JFK 50 Mile champion Mike Spinnler.

"He was not a runner himself, but he loved the sport and studied the sport," said Spinnler, a 1976 North graduate. "He was my very first running coach. He's a reason so many of us fell in love with the sport."

Longtime Hubs wrestling coach Greg Slick said he learned a lot from Messina.

"He did a lot of mentoring for me when I started coaching," Slick said. "I kind of leaned on the guy.

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"Pat was just a wonderful man, one of those guys who coached for the love of it. He did a lot of nice things for kids. We lost someone who was pretty important to our school."

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