Anne LeDuc was a force of nature. She influenced the lives of many George School students during her decades of coaching basketball, swimming, lacrosse, and field hockey at George School. She passed away on October 3, 2020.
She was beloved by her young athletes and had a lasting impact on them. Many spoke of the effect she had on their lives during and beyond George School at a gathering honoring Anne at the Middletown Country Club in March of 2012. Click here to watch a video containing these testimonials. Anne credited her relationships with her students in keeping her young at heart. When previously asked about her experience coaching and teaching athletes, she replied, “working with young people in a team setting, I helped students learn how to work with others, how to deal with disappointment, and how to deal graciously with winning.” She also stressed the importance of diversity to her student athletes, as she had played sports internationally before working at George School. As a result, the field hockey team played in Barbados, Jamaica, and England another under her tutelage.
In addition to coaching from 1962 to 1993, Anne became the Girl’s Athletic Director, which allowed her to oversee and mentor other coaches. When asked about what she is most proud of during her time at George School she replied, “The best thing I ever did for George School was to hire Nancy Bernardini. She is the epitome of a coach who is positive, who knows how to encourage kids, who is an excellent teacher, and who gets the best out of her material.” Nancy currently works at George School as the director of athletic operations. Anne’s influence on and mentoring of Nancy is one of the ways that her spirit is still felt at George School today.
Another way that Anne’s presence is felt is through the Cougar Field, which was dedicated to her in 2012. George School has had a number of new athletic facilities built over the last decade including the Cougar Track and Field, as well as the Fitness and Athletic Center. While Anne was delighted about all of the updates she admitted that “as a former field hockey coach, I have a special place in my heart for the new turf field.” It is only fitting that the field honors her.
While Anne worked at George School for many years, it was not her first experience with a Friends Education. She attended Haddonfield Friends as a child, where she demonstrated her athletic prowess from an early age and later attended Moorestown Friends for high school. Anne was one of the founders of the Friends School League. In doing so, one of her goals was to create equal opportunities for young women athletes.
Anne will be missed by many in the George School community, but her legacy will continue to live on in the athletes she coached and the coaches she supervised. Most recently the community honored Anne with a 95th Birthday celebration on Zoom on June 15. Anne was really touched by the celebration and said that she wished she could coach everyone again.