FOR PETE’S SAKE: Pete Higgins shows his game face as he posed for a picture. Longtime Princeton Day School coach and teacher Higgins passed away earlier this month, leaving a huge void in the PDS and lacrosse communities. (Photo by Andrew Lee, provided courtesy of PDS)
Pete Higgins cut an intimidating figure on the sidelines over the years for the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse program, typically wielding a stick as he barked out colorful commentary to players and officials alike.
But underneath the burly Higgins’ gruff exterior beat a heart of gold as he was legendary for his catalog of humorous stories, his connections through the lacrosse world starting with his native Long Island, and most of all, his zeal in developing his players.
So when Higgins suddenly passed away after a brief illness (unrelated to COVID-19) earlier this month at age 57, the PDS and lacrosse communities were left heartbroken.
“It is clear that he had a infectious personality, everybody loved being around Higgs, everybody loved a good Higgs story,” said PDS boys’ lax head coach Joe Moore.
“It is hard to understand how much he impacted the PDS community. I think I have fully understood that in the last couple of weeks here since he passed. It seems like everybody in the PDS community really had some sort of special connection with Higgs and you see how he touched everybody in the PDS community in some way. That is so unique.”
Working at PDS for 23 years, taking on a variety of roles from teaching health and PE, coaching varsity and middle school lacrosse, coaching middle school basketball, working in the school weight room and being involved in its peer leadership program, Higgins crossed paths with thousands of students and families over the years. Things were also busy at home for Higgins with his wife, Rebecca, and their four children, Catie, Jane, Mickey, and Quinn. more