PALM HARBOR - The founding principal of Pinellas Park High School, Hugh B. “Max” Kriever, of Oldsmar died on Jan. 30, 2013 at Hospice House Brookside in Palm Harbor. He was 84.
Kriever came to Pinellas Park in 1976 to open the new high school as its first principal. This was one of many positions he held throughout a long career with the Pinellas County School District that began in 1960. Kriever spent five years at PPHS before moving on to become the countywide director of School Discipline.
Born in Sewickley, Pa., Kriever was a star high school athlete. Captain of the football and the basketball teams, he also participated in track.
After high school, he joined the U.S. Marines, where he played on the Parris Island and Quantico Marines football teams. Following his tour of duty, he accepted a full scholarship to play football at the University of Louisville.
He began his education career teaching at Shawnee High School in Louisville after receiving his degree.
Then, in 1960, he accepted a teaching and coaching job at Largo High School and was promoted three years later when he was named the school’s head football coach and athletic director.
In 1968, he left the classroom and became Dean of Boys at Largo High School. Shortly after that, he was named the school district’s supervisor of Physical Education and Driver’s Education.
In 1969, he began studying at the University of Mississippi during summer breaks, and after three years earned his master’s degree in 1971.
In quick succession leading up to his job in Pinellas Park, Kriever held administrative positions at Northeast High School, Azalea Middle School and Boca Ciega High School. Following his five-year stint at PPHS, he went on to serve in administrative positions on a countywide basis.
Kriever retired in 1971 after 31 years with the Pinellas County Schools.
Throughout his career, and especially during retirement, Kriever and his wife, Martha, travelled extensively in their motor home. They visited not only all of the lower 48 states, but also Alaska and Hawaii.
Sports remained a major part of his life in retirement, as well. He kept in top physical shape throughout his entire life and was an avid fan of all the Tampa Bay professional sports teams
“I played football for him in 1968, it was a highlight for me to be on his team,” said his son, Blair Kriever. “Even for me when we were on the field it was always Coach or Mr. Kriever, he made that clear from the beginning.”
Blair said his father would accept nothing less than a complete effort in everything he did.
“He was a man of integrity and he preached pride,” he said. “He always gave 110 percent of himself. He was a man who touched many lives, hundreds of people in his lifetime. Growing up as his son was an experience. Dad was an intense individual, but he played hoops and catch with me. He was a good family man.”
Hugh Kriever is survived by Martha, his wife of 62 years; two children, Blair and Jane, both of Clearwater; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.