College mourns passing of Athletics Hall of Famer Roland Francis Hess

It is with sadness that the College shares the news of the death of Roland Hess, longtime athletics coach and physical education teacher, on Dec. 15. He was 87.

Hess started his career at SUNY New Paltz in 1974, briefly coaching the baseball team before assuming the role of head coach of the men’s soccer team.

In 1985 he played a key role in the founding of the women’s soccer team, which he coached until 1994. Hess won SUNY Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors as women’s soccer coach in 1988.

Hess additionally taught classes in the Department of Physical Education until his retirement in 1996. He was inducted into the SUNY New Paltz Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002.

He was born on July 6, 1932, and held a Ph.D. from West Virginia University.

Hess is survived by his wife, Marion, whom he wed on Aug. 30, 1958; their children, Gregory and Maureen; and many grandchildren, nieces, nephews and extended family members.

Calling hours for Roland Hess will be held on Thursday, Dec. 19, from 3 – 6 p.m. at Copeland-Hammerl Funeral Home, 162 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz. Burial at New Paltz Rural Cemetery will follow.

Those who wish to express condolences online may do so at