Irv “Moon” Mondschein has packed a lot of living into his 83 years.
He served in World War II. He competed in the decathlon at the 1948 Olympics, and he won a pair of NCAA titles in the high jump and earned All-East honors in football while attending New York University. He coached the Israeli Olympic team in 1952 and was an assistant coach on the 1988 U.S. Olympic team.
Following his graduation from NYU he became the athletic director, head football, basketball, and track coach for Lincoln (PA) University, leaving when the administration dropped football without consulting him. Mondschein then spent 13 years as a high school coach in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In 1965, he took a position as an assistant track & field coach at the University of Pennsylvania under Hall of Famer Jim Tuppeny. When Tuppeny retired from coaching in 1979, Mondschein took over the head coaching position. He retired from coaching in 1987 but had brief assistant stints at Villanova and La Salle before returning in 1992 as an assistant at Kutztown (PA) University where his son, Brian Mondschein, was head coach.
One of Mondschein’s prized pupils was Fred Samara, a 1976 U.S. Olympian in the decathlon who is currently the head track coach at Princeton.
Mondschein is recognized for his achievements as an athlete and coach in the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Irv passed away on June 5, 2015 at the age of 91.