Ray Mayrovitz, one of the most likable and successful soccer coachesin the county, died from a blood clot Thursday night at Baltimore County General Hospital.

The clot developed as the result of an operation Jan. 16 to repair a fractured kneecap, an injury sustained during a fall outside his home in the Lochearn section of Randallstown.

Mayrovitz, 68, was retired from the Baltimore City Public School system where he coached and taught physical education for 34 years.

But since retirement in 1984 he had coached the Centennial High School girls soccer team. His Centennial teams always had winning records. Since 1985 the Eagles compiled a 67-14-4 record, including one county championship. In 1989 he won a Coach of the Year award.

"Ray's real enjoyment came from working with the kids and not withwins and losses," said Don Disney, executive supervisor of Health and Physical Education. "His dedication to youth was obvious, and he was one of the most enthusiastic retired people you'll ever meet. I used him as a role model to try and recruit other retired coaches."

Centennial athletic director Jim Welsch and three of Mayrovitz's players had talked to him by telephone the day he died, wishing him a speedy recovery and attempting to cheer him up.

"He told his wife he was really happy the kids had called," Welsch said. "The girls were real close to him. He was likable, responsible, enthusiastic and a great role model."

Welsch said Mayrovitz didn't smoke or drink, exercised regularly and took great pride in taking care of his health.

Welsch also had worked with Mayrovitz at Northwestern HighSchool, where Mayrovitz had coached boys soccer, swimming, track andfootball at various times. Mayrovitz also had taught at Mervo and Patterson.

"This is kind of tough after spending four years with him. He was a nice man who made practice fun for the girls. He pushedus and always got the best out of us," said Meg Caro, who was a starplayer for Mayrovitz the last four years. "Our team this year was very young and was looking forward to working with him for the next couple of years."

The soccer team was called together during firstperiod Friday morning at Centennial and told the bad news.

"This will be a great loss to the county," Dave Guetler, Hammond High girls soccer coach, said late Friday afternoon upon learning of Mayrovitz's death. "Every year his team has been at the top of the heap. A year ago they weren't picked to do anything and only lost two games."

Mayrovitz's daughter-in-law, Jennifer, said he liked reading, swimming and music -- but sports was his real passion.

A funeral service will be held today at 10 a.m. at Sol Levinson Funeral Home, 6010 Reisterstown Road. Interment will follow in the Baltimore Hebrew Cemetery, Berryman's Lane.

Mayrovitz is survived by his wife, Janet, a son, Randall of Baltimore, two daughters, Marci Tuck of Baltimore and Jodi Quattro of Colorado, and by six grandchildren.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Ronald McDonald House, 635 W. Lexington St., where he and his wife had worked as volunteers.

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