Remarks at dedication of Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field
by Frank Coughlin
President Cregan, members of the Stonehill board, current students, faculty, alumni and dear friends of Stonehill, my name is Frank Coughlin, Jr. (left), and it is a special honor for me to be invited to speak to you today on behalf of all of the members of the Coughlin family to tell you about my brother Tim Coughlin, Stonehill college class of 1980. My brother was killed at the age of 42 in the brutal attacks on the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001 and he was laid to rest the following week at a funeral Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, where not a seat could be found.
First a note of thanks, since the terrible time of September 11th the Stonehill College family, reached out and supported the Coughlins to help overcome what at first was a seemingly insurmountable loss. The sincere concern of many of you demonstrated the uniquely Christian compassion that proclaims quite confidently that it is never the case that all is lost when a loved one is gone. On behalf of myself and all of the Coughlin family, I would like to thank the Stonehill family who extended to us your words, your time and your generosity in helping us to manage through the uncertainty and sadness.
As an athlete at Stonehill, you should know that Tim Coughlin came from St. Mary's High School in Manhasset, LI New York a school without football although he did achieve MVP awards his senior year in lacrosse and basketball. You should also know that Tim was neither particularly fast, nor big nor quick but he brought to the athletic field a tenacious will to win. He took to football at Stonehill in his junior year, first at tight end and then converting to running back as a senior when he was the leading rusher and was named the team's most valuable player. In one game, Tim ran for more than 200 yards in Stonehill's first ever defeat of Bentley College in a contest that saw Tim carry the ball practically every time in a touchdown drive the length of the field, extending his body across the goal line to seal the win.
However it is not the athletic achievements of Tim Coughlin which merits the naming of this beautiful field in his honor. The athletic achievements while notable, pale in comparison to Tim's accomplishments on the field of life, at work and with his friends. He was a loving husband to his wife Maura and devoted father to his 3 children, Ryann, Sean and Riley, all of whom were under the age of 5 at the time of his death. He was a loyal son to our parents, a beautiful brother and a magnificent, true friend to many.
While in everything he put his mind to he demonstrated an uncommon zeal, Tim's success can be attributed in large part to his unique ability to create, build and maintain friendships. He loved to laugh at himself and with others and when you were with him you needed to bring your "A" game because his humor and passion for life called for nothing less. Although he was a phenomenal success in the business world Tim hated pomposity and haughtiness as he could easily laugh at himself and with others. Tim's career in the financial markets was as a US government bond broker and he may very well have been the best in the history of the business. Tim Coughlin never forgot Stonehill and what it had meant for him and had done for him and he never treated lightly or as temporary the relationship with the friends he made here, it was not in Tim's nature to do that. Tim supported the school and its fund-raising efforts partly because he realized how valuable his time here had been at a critical point in his life but also because Tim was a winner and he just wouldn't quit on Stonehill. He came here unsure and uncertain and he left here as with the tools to become a leader brimming with confidence and with lasting friendships.
This field we dedicate today in Tim's name should forever be a testament to what for him and for all of us are essential for success in life: loyalty and a sense of competitiveness. These traits carried Tim as an athlete, at work, as a friend and with his family. When I speak of competitiveness I mean sincerity or intensity in effort and the will to win. You can't compete and win on this field or the field of life if you are not loyal to yourself, to your work ethic or to your family. Bear in mind that true loyalty is a one-way street, all you receive in return is the knowledge that you did the best you could. If you are competitive, however, you figure out a way to make that loyalty find a way to win and that is what Tim did.
In closing, I urge you to read the beautiful plaque at the entrance to the field, the name is pronounced "Coug-lin" by the way, and remember to follow your passions and hold onto your friends with a sincere sense of competition and a frequently invoked sense of humor.