‘A first-class individual’
Members of the Northampton Area School District community are mourning the loss of Mike Gurdineer, who died Sept. 8 after a battle with COVID-19.
Gurdineer, 41, was an eighth-grade social studies teacher at Northampton Area Middle School and served as the offensive coordinator for the Northampton Area High School Konkrete Kids football team.
According to NASD Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kovalchik, Gurdineer joined the school district in the 2019-20 school year.
“Mike was an excellent teacher, colleague and mentor for our students,” Kovalchik said. “He was always willing to do whatever it took to help students and the school improve. Mike always put the students first. He was a first-class individual.”
NASD Athletic Director Shaun Murray reported Gurdineer coached with the K-Kids football staff March through August.
“Our hearts break for Coach Gurdineer and his family as we offer our condolences to all who have crossed paths with Mike,” Murray said. “Mike was an outstanding teacher and football coach who left a huge impact on our student-athletes and our entire Northampton community. Coach Gurdineer’s devotion to our students was second to none, and the impact he left will never be forgotten.”
According to Murray, there was a moment of silence in Gurdineer’s honor before the Konkrete Kids Sept. 10 game against Stroudsburg.
Gurdineer lived in Coopersburg with his wife, Melissa, and their four children, Blaze, Colette, Olivia and Zoey. He graduated from Minisink Valley Central Schools, Slate Hill, N.Y. He then earned his undergraduate degree from Moravian College, where he played football, and his graduate degree in secondary education from Mercy College in Westchester, N.Y.
He previously taught at Orange Ulster BOCES in Goshen, N.Y., as well as in the Allentown School District from 2008 to 2019, and he coached for Highland Falls and then Southern Lehigh School District.
He founded the Spartan Touchdown Club in 2012 to support the Southern Lehigh sport and ran the spring flag football league. Southern Lehigh Spartans Football shared condolences for Gurdineer on Facebook.
“We mourn the loss of Mike Gurdineer, a man who had such a tremendous impact on our community, our football family and countless young men to whom he was a mentor and coach,” the post stated.
Allentown School District also shared a Facebook post extending condolences and prayers. The post noted he made a “positive impact on many students” at both Trexler Middle School and William Allen High School.
Schools and athletics departments across the region took to social media to express their sympathies on Gurdineer’s death.
There had been a Meal Train page set up to assist the family while they reportedly all battled COVID-19, so the family could focus on getting better. A large number of people had signed up to help, showing just how loved the Gurdineer family is in the community.
Kovalchik reported counseling is being offered at NAHS and NAMS for students who need to talk or need extra support during this time. According to the Allentown School District Facebook page, school counselors and psychologists will also be available to any student or family in the ASD in need of support.
A visitation will be held 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 17 at Connell Funeral Home, 245 E. Broad St., Bethlehem, for anyone wishing to share their condolences. The funeral service will be private.
In honor of his memory, contributions can be made to the Lehigh Valley chapter of the National Football Foundation. Checks should be made payable to LVNFF and mailed to Tony Cocca, 414 New York Ave., Whitehall, 18052.