WEST LONG BRANCH: A role model committed to baseball and to his student players at Shore Regional High School, retired Coash Fred Kampf received a long awaited tribute to his years at the helm of coaching Shore Regional baseball and to the records that stand tall. The ballfield at Shore was dedicated in his name.
The four towns that Shore Regional serves all gave praise to their coach, who was a resident and raised in Monmouth Beach. Mayors from Oceanport, Sea Bight and West Long Branch added their acclaim as did Senator Jennifer Beck for the State Senate and Assembly, with Resolutions from each of the four towns, and the Board of Education and Shore Regional itself.
A crowd of cheering fans, many who played under his tutelage and his leadership, some classmates from his own school days and teams, and residents from the towns recognizing his contributions, were assembled at Shore on Saturday to do honors.
The words of praise were emphasized by the crowd with continuous cheers A smiling coach enjoyed the moments and the presence of those he recognized from his and their days of glory on the diamond and in the classrooms.
Many of Coach Kampf's records were recalled as presentations were made. His days at SRHS as a pitcher - 5 no-hitters; and as a batter, with a towering game winner home run described as beyond the 400-foot mark at the Monmouth College campus at an invitational tournament.
Kampf's pitching was a major success (29 wins to 6 losses at Shore) as well as the batting prowess) led to further success and days in pro-ball with the A's after a great college record at Miami (on a full scholarship) and returning to SRHS in 1974 to teach and coach.
His teams at Shore earned a 374 game win record, plus 10 Shore Conference Championships and more. In his words he gave his players the credit for their commitment, discipline and hard work. Speakers who knew him then commented on the discipline he taught and the encouragement to succeed he pressed for as the coach and his leadership by example.
The sun shone brightly at the ceremony, some said as a special recognition itself. The honor ceremonies were closed with lot pf photos at the infield to capture the moment. Lunch was held at the Old Orchard Golf Course dining room where the chef had held the doors open for ate comers.
At Old Orchard Coach Kampf was greeted by another shore baseball great, Les Wilcox, his Fafner in law, who celebrated his 100th birthday in January. He, too was a noted ball player at the Jersey Shore in his day, and his homer record sounds similar to Fred's. The meeting allowed the WotS photo with Fred, his sons, Fred and Kyle and Father in Law Les. They enjoyed sharing the baseball and sports memories each enjoyed.