January 6, 2022

City of Hoboken to honor beloved coach Johnny Ray “Diddle” McDonald Jr.

Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla and the City of Hoboken will officially rename the Multi-Service Center hockey rink after dedicated coach and resident Johnny Ray “Diddle” McDonald Jr. who passed away last month at the age of 58.

McDonald, who worked for the City of Hoboken’s Recreation Department for nearly 20 years, devoted much of his adult life to coaching and mentoring Hoboken’s youth.

“Coach Diddle’s commitment to Hoboken’s children will forever be memorialized at the Multi-Service Center where he dedicated so much of his time to instilling our youth with drive, confidence, patience, teamwork, and a love of the game,” said Mayor Bhalla. “His dedication to the City and passion for instructing will always be remembered, not only by us at City Hall, but in the hearts of the generations of children he mentored on a daily basis. I am honored to rename the rink in his name.”

McDonald founded the City’s first children’s instructional hockey program, supervised the City’s minor league baseball and instructional baseball programs, and coached and mentored children in the youth basketball program. He also founded an adult roller hockey league and was among the founders of the Church Square Men’s Basketball League.  

Later this year, the City will host a dedication ceremony in which a plaque memorializing the rink as the “Johnny Ray McDonald Jr. ‘Diddle’ Hockey Rink” will be installed.

Coach Diddles worked for the City's Recreation Department for nearly 20 years dedicating his adult life to mentoring children.
Photo provided by Roger Muller.