Alumni News and Stories

Coach Al Davis Dies at 94
Posted 02/06/2019 05:19PM

Coach Al Davis at the Buzzell Games in 2013. Photo by Robert Kenas '60.

Coach Al Davis, a decorated World War II veteran who began a legendary career at Riverdale in 1953 and worked at the school for most of his life, died early today at his home. He was 94. 

Head of School Dominic A.A. Randolph called a special Middle and Upper School assembly this afternoon to announce the news to students and faculty. Here is a video of his remarks. A close friend of Al's, Kent Kildahl, the former head of the Upper School and a member of the English department, also gave a remembrance of Al as did Carol Pouliot, dean of the Class of '21 and a member of the Physical Education/Athletics departments.

Coach Davis was a beloved physical education teacher and coach. In his later years, he served as the school archivist. The Class of 1964 established an annual teaching award in his name and the Al Davis Scholar-Athlete Award is given annually to a male and female athlete. His life story inspired a video made in 2015. 

"On this sad day, I thought it appropriate to share with you the words associated with the Al Davis Teaching Award: Al taught us that we are capable of great things but only with our fullest effort; that full effort is a joyous act and transforms failure into a kind of success; that community is a precious thing; that we are all individuals and that the highest act of an individual is to contribute to a team; and that teaching -- and learning -- at its highest level transcends the walls of a classroom and the demands of a curriculum and is finally an act of mutual respect, commitment, and love," Randolph said in a letter to the community.

A memorial service will be held at the school. Remembrances of Al may be shared with Robin Gottlieb, Director of Alumni Affairs and Institutional Engagement, at

For More Information

Robin Gottlieb
Director of Alumni Affairs and Institutional Engagement

Riverdale Country School

Mind • Character • Community



Lower School
1 Spaulding Lane
Bronx, NY 10471
LS: (718) 549-7780

Middle/Upper School
5250 Fieldston Road
Bronx, NY 10471
MS/US: (718) 549-8810

Contact Us

Quick Links

Riverdale teaches students to become lifelong learners by fostering "growth" mindsets. Go There ><

Quick Links

The River Campus offers a spacious, natural setting for our youngest students, inspiring learning and play. Go There >

Riverdale offers "STEAM" (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) teaching to Lower School students. Go There >

Quick Links

Middle School students explore hands-on learning through the Riverdale Maker program. Go There >

Project Knowmad allows Middle Schoolers to learn in a different way, using NYC as their classroom. Go There >

Quick Links

Riverdale teaches students to make connections through our interdisciplinary programs. Go There >

The club and activity program encourages students to explore their passions and try new things. Go There >

Quick Links

About 80 percent of Upper School students participate in athletics. Go There >

Riverdale's Hill Campus has an indoor pool, football stadium, weight room, and 3 playing fields. Go There >

Quick Links

Riverdale has entry points in Pre-K, Kindergarten, 6th, and 9th Grades. Visit our campus today. Go There >

Approximately 20 percent of Riverdale students receive some level of financial aid. Go There >

Quick Links

Last year's Annual Fund totaled nearly $5 million in gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of the school. Go There >

Have you included Riverdale in your estate plans? Please let us know and join our expanding group of Hackett Planned Giving Society members today. Go There >

powered by finalsite