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James A. McKinstry

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Title: James A. McKinstry  
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Subject: Ottawa Rough Riders
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James A. McKinstry

James A. McKinstry (born April 12, 1942) was a physical education teacher and administrator in New York and previously worked in aeronautical engineering. He was listed on the New York Jets 1963 team roster and included in a Life magazine photograph of the team.

McKinstry played in the Canadian Football League with the Montreal Alouettes and Ottawa Rough Riders from 1962 to 1963. While playing on the Grand Rapids Blazers, McKinstry was recruited by the New York Jets as a free agent. He also had interest from other teams, such as the New York Giants. McKinstry played as a tight end with the Jets from 1963 to 1965.[1]

Following his time with the Jets, McKinstry worked for the Grumman Aerospace Corporation in Bethpage on the project management team. During this period he coordinated activities for the Lunar Excursion Module (L.E.M.) and was the Night Director for F-14 Tomcat production. McKinstry also coordinated the building of several other aircraft including the A-6 Intruder, E-2C Hawkeye and C-2A Greyhound. McKinstry worked on the proposal plan for the X-29, which is currently in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

During his time at Grumman, McKinstry's love of education grew. He obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in health and physical education at Long Island University, C.W. Post in 1976. In 1978, McKinstry completed a Masters of Science Degree in education, special education and adapted physical education at Long Island University, C.W. Post.

In 1994, McKinstry began working for the New York City Department of Education. During his four years he served as an athletic director and an adapted physical education tenured teacher. McKinstry was responsible for all physical education and health programs in the city and oversaw equipment purchases for all physical education departments. He also taught special education to SIE VII students.

His son, also called James, was a scholarship tennis player at St. John's University as well as walk on football player.[2]

Athletic highlights

  • Two-year junior college first team all-American in American football - S.U.N.Y. Farmingdale (1960–1962)
  • Full academic undergraduate scholarship to C.W. Post (1970–1976)
  • Featured in Life magazine pullout with the New York Jets (October 25, 1963)[3]
  • Joe Namath Football Camp coach
  • Industrial League Basketball Coach of the Year (1979 and 1980)
  • Sports Hall of Fame - State University of N.Y. at Farmingdale (1995)[4]


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