Armstrong School District mourns death of athletic director Denny Stewart

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Monday, December 28, 2020 | 4:00 PM


The Armstrong School District athletics community lost an important voice this past weekend as longtime athletic director Denny Stewart died.

Armstrong co-athletic director Todd Harvey, who worked alongside Stewart since Kittanning and Ford City merged in 2015, confirmed the news Monday.

“It was a real pleasure to work alongside him,” Harvey said. “I wish it just could’ve gone on longer. “

Harvey said that a drive-by viewing and memorial service will take place at the Armstrong Junior-Senior High School on Wednesday between 2-4 p.m.

“People will just stay in their car and pay their respects that way,” Harvey said.

Stewart’s impact has been felt throughout the school district over the past 40-plus years. He was the athletic director at Ford City for 20 years before Kittanning and Ford City merged.

Stewart, 72, was inducted into the Armstrong County Sports Hall of Fame in 2014 and was honored for his service as both a wrestling coach and an administrator.

“He really enjoyed being an athletic director and it was something he could never fully give up and I don’t blame him,” Harvey said.

Stewart’s career began at the junior-high level, in wrestling and football. His time with the Kittanning/Armstrong Central’s varsity wrestling program between 1986-98 highlighted his coaching career. He helped the program produce 20 section champions, eight section qualifiers, and Kittanning’s first state champion in 1995, 140-pounder Chamie Hooks.

Stewart also helped establish the girls golf program at Kittanning and took over as the Ford City AD in 1997. During his tenure, the Ford City girls basketball program was a PIAA semifinalist in 1998 and a WPIAL runner-up in 2007.

Stewart also was instrumental in the merging of the Kittanning and Ford City athletic programs. He and Harvey were crucial as both schools tried to figure out where teams would play through the first years of the merger. The school has become quite successful over the last few years in many sports.

“Each year we would talk about retirement and I would always shutter and that because I never wanted him to quit or retire,” Harvey said. “He kept going one more year and I was hoping to keep doing that for a few more years.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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