OXFORD – John Curtis spent 2 1/2 decades on the sideline as an assistant football coach under Oxford Hall of Fame mentor Tony Abbott. When Curtis got his chance to lead the Blackhawks, he literally took the ball and ran with it.
Curtis died Sunday night after a long illness at the age of 65.
A three-sport athlete at Mount Upton High School, Curtis starred at Cobleskill and later Cortland State playing football and lacrosse. He was hired out of college by Oxford Academy, and taught Physical Education at the primary school for over 35 years before retiring at the end of the 2006-2007 school year.
Curtis was an assistant football coach for Abbott for 25 seasons until Abbott stepped down after the 1995 campaign. Curtis was also a junior varsity and varsity basketball coach at Oxford working under Don Cooper for many years before taking over the varsity job, while Cooper became the varsity girls’ basketball coach.