Hoboken to rename Multi-Service Center ice rink after late beloved youth coach ‘Diddle’ McDonald


The City of Hoboken is set to name the Multi-Service Center ice rink after late beloved youth coach Johnny Ray “Diddle” McDonald, Jr.

Late Hoboken youth instructional hockey program founder Johnny “Ray” Diddle McDonald, Jr. Photo courtesy of Roger Muller.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

McDonald, who worked for the City of Hoboken’s Recreation Department for nearly 20 years, devoted much of his adult life to coaching and mentoring Hoboken’s youth before he passed away at age 58 last month..

“Coach Diddle’s commitment to Hoboken’s children will forever be memorialized at the Multi-Service Center where he dedicated so much of his time to instilling our youth with drive, confidence, patience, teamwork, and a love of the game,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.

“His dedication to the City and passion for instructing will always be remembered, not only by us at City Hall, but in the hearts of the generations of children he mentored on a daily basis. I am honored to rename the rink in his name.”

McDonald founded the city’s first children’s instructional hockey program, supervised the City’s minor league baseball and instructional baseball programs, and coached and mentored children in the youth basketball program.

He also founded an adult roller hockey league and was among the founders of the Church Square Men’s Basketball League.

Later this year, the city will host a dedication ceremony in which a plaque memorializing the facility as the “Johnny Ray McDonald Jr. ‘Diddle’ Hockey Rink” will be installed.

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