George Boutis had an indelible impact on generations of students in his 40 years at Packer. As coach of boys varsity basketball and soccer, he racked up a remarkable 717 wins, 22 season championships, 17 tournament championships, and two NYSAIS championships.
Coach Boutis taught his players that to excel on the field, they had to hone both their physical and mental skills — to be better teammates and ultimately, better people. His 5:30 am team runs in the soccer preseason, followed by an hour of yoga, were legendary. George brought yoga, meditation, and mindfulness to all Packer students by introducing it into the PE curriculum, often cultivating lifelong habits still practiced by alumni. He was also a dedicated health educator and taught topics that were sometimes awkward for teenagers, with humor and care. George will be missed — we will be hard pressed to fill the centering place Coach Boutis holds for our students, athletes, and colleagues alike.
At an Upper School end-of-year celebration, students paid tribute to several beloved and longtime teachers. Below, Abe Rothstein ’21 reflects on the impact George made on him.
Today I have the honor of giving tribute to someone who's worked at Packer for well over 30 years: Mr. Boutis. Where do I start? Whether it's teaching yoga, meditation, coaching, or even talking sports, you've been an integral part of the community here. It's easy to see your passion and dedication in working with your students, and there will certainly be huge shoes to fill, come next year. I thank you for your guidance, not only spiritually, but personally. I know that you will definitely enjoy your walks around Prospect Park, watching a Buck's game, or just having meditation time without ever having to use Zoom again.
Personally, I won't forget the time you emailed me and said, "You were looking pretty strong the other day, so I encourage you to keep working out. Packer needs the President healthy in these times." Okay. I might've added this portion onto the speech to flex just a little bit, but this was one of many interactions I’ve had with Mr. Boutis that reminds me why I love Packer. Thank you for everything you've done for Packer over the course of 30-plus years. The Pelican community will certainly miss you. Namaste.
—Abe Rothstein ’21
If you would like to submit well-wishes to George, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.