[Editor's Note: The following letter was written by a former student and athlete of Russell Devin, a teacher, coach and administrator in New Milford schools from 1953 to 1987. Mr. Devin died Oct. 12.]

To the Editor:

It has been nearly 60 years since the fall of 1953, when Coach Russ Devin came to New Milford High School and initiated the successful cross country program, but I still have fond memories of being on his track and cross country teams.

These initial teams did not achieve the elite status that later teams have obtained, but Coach Devin's enthusiasm and constant encouragement led us to always strive to achieve to the highest level of our abilities.

This enthusiasm, love of sports and desire to achieve are values that he gave us and that have lasted for a lifetime.

In addition, Russ Devin was an excellent chemistry and physics teacher who gave his students a background in science that, in my case, helped lead to a long career in engineering.

Those of us who had the good fortunate to have Russ Devin as a coach and teacher must be forever grateful for his contribution to our lives.

Sam Blackman

Class of 1956

New Milford

High School