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John loved the schools he attended and his close relationships with his coaches and teammates. Through football, John discovered his passion for coaching. He began teaching and coaching football at St. Bernard’s High School in Fitchburg, Massachusettes, from 1953 to 1958. He earned his master’s degree in Education from nearby Fitchburg State University. Later, he took a coaching and teaching position at Dedham High School from 1957 to 1962. He accepted a position to coach football at Boston College from 1962 to 1967. John then coached football for the Army at West Point under the legendary Tom Cahill from 1967 to 1973.
John returned to Rhode Island as the athletic director of Portsmouth Abbey School, coaching football and baseball. During his time at Portsmouth Abbey, from 1974 to 1988, John reinvigorated the school’s athletic program enhancing its facilities and capabilities. He also played a key role in developing the Alumni Development Department of this elite Benedictine school.
John loved mentoring young athletes to discover and develop both their athletic and their personal abilities. He placed more emphasis on character building than on increasing the speed or strength of his players. Like every good coach, John McCauley played to win. But he was more concerned with preparing his players for the game of life. He took great pride in talking about the success of his former athletes as they became lawyers, doctors, teachers, businesspeople, and leaders in all walks of life. John was a man of character who provided lifelong, comprehensive encouragement for others. He cherished his many deep and enduring friendships throughout his coaching and teaching career.
John lived a beautiful life full of family, friendship, and love. His long and distinguished career ended on June 20, 2017 at the age of 86. He is buried at St. Ann’s Catholic Cemetery in Cranston. John is survived by his wife of 58 years Geraldine M. McCauley (Cooke) of Newport. Next to his deep abiding faith in God, he adored Gerry. They shared a life together that exemplified true love and commitment to each other. He is also survived by his six children and their spouses: sons John III (Andrea) of Stamford, CT, William (Lynne) of Hingham, MA, Michael (Sheila) of Concord, MA, and Richard of Tyngsboro MA. and his daughters Christine Carr (Christopher) of Concord, MA and Kathryn Johnson (Robert) of Hingham, Massachusetts. John was additionally blessed with 15 grandchildren. He also leaves a sister, Mary Sajben (Mike) of Chico, California along with dozens of nieces and nephews, all whom he cherished.