Town Council honors Coach Brad Simpson

Feb 12, 2020 by

Published February 12, 2020

By MARK SARDELLA

COACH BRAD SIMPSON was honored at this week’s Town Council meeting for his 50 years of coaching basketball in Wakefield. He attended the meeting with Wakefield Varsity Basketball captains Patrick Collins, Quinn Bayers and Ryan Markus. (Mark Sardella Photo)

WAKEFIELD —It was the Town Council’s turn to honor Brad Simpson for his 50 years of coaching basketball in Wakefield, as Coach Simpson was invited to lead the Pledge if Allegiance at Monday’s Town Council meeting.

Town Council Chairman Edward Dombroski said that he invited Coach Simpson to come to the meeting “after a weekend celebrating his great accomplishments in our community.” According to Dombroski, Simpson accepted the invitation on the condition that Wakefield Memorial High School varsity basketball captains Ryan Marcus, Pat Collins and Quinn Bayers join him.

Dombroski introduced Coach Simpson, calling him “a modern-day Wakefield legend,”

Dombroski went on to talk about Simpson’s life and accomplishments.

A graduate of Wakefield Memorial High School Class of 1964, Simpson went on to pursue his studies to become an educator. He started teaching Social Studies at Wakefield Junior High in 1970. (He was hired by Dr. Stephen F. Maio.)

CHAIRMAN ED DOMBROSKI holds the ball signed by Brad Simpson’s players and coaches in honor of his 50 years of coaching basketball in Wakefield. Simpson was honored at Monday’s Town Council meeting. (Mark Sardella Photo)

That same year, Dombroski noted, Simpson joined the coaching staff of Sonny Lane, the legendary WMHS basketball coach of the 1970s and 1980s. Simpson began his coaching career with the 8th grade basketball team in 1970 before moving to freshman coach in 1975.

In 1978 he was promoted to junior varsity coach, Dombroski noted, and was named head coach for Wakefield Memorial High School in 1988, a position he holds to this day. Under Coach Simpson, the WMHS Varsity Boys Basketball Team won the State Championship in 1997.

Simpson has coached over 500 games with a winning percentage near 70 percent.

“He is Wakefield’s own Bill Belichick,” Dombroski quipped.

Brad Simpson retired from teaching in 2004, Dombroski observed, after 34 years of dedicated service to the town.

He was inducted into the Wakefield High School Hall of Fame in 2009.

“And, of course,” Dombroski added with humor, “Coach Simpson is married to Judy Simpson – who serves as Director of Basketball Operations for Wakefield – she never misses a game!”

“Coach Simpson has had a tremendous impact on Wakefield youth for decades,” Dombroski said, “both on and off the court. I had the opportunity to speak with several residents who know him well.

“As a Coach, Brad Simpson has instilled a strong work ethic of determination, perseverance, and a commitment to excellence,” Dombroski observed. “He is a tenacious coach, instilling positive values and a spirit to always strive to be one’s best self, helping to shape impressionable youth into mature young men.

“Off the court, Mr. Simpson instilled those same values and inspired a love of learning in the classroom, encouraging the young women and men that he taught to never stop learning and exploring. He has left an indelible mark on the lives of the students.

“Perhaps the best testament to Coach Simpson’s character are his modesty and selflessness,” Dombroski added. “When I invited Coach Simpson to be recognized here tonight, he was honored…but, not surprisingly, his immediate thought was to bring along his three Captains: Marcus, Collins, and Bayers.”

Dombroski said that Simpson wanted this evening to not be about himself, but rather about honoring his captains and all that their team has achieved.

“And, there is much to be excited about,” Dombroski added. “We are all excited to recognize that the Boys’ Varsity Basketball Team has just qualified for the State Tournament and we wish you good luck!

“So,” Dombroski said, “on behalf of this Town Council, the alumni athletes and students, and the residents of Wakefield, I say thank you.

“Thank you, Coach Simpson, for your many contributions and tireless dedication to Wakefield athletics and academics over these last 50 years. Thank you for your far-reaching and long-lasting impact on our children. And, thank you, Coach Simpson, for helping to make our Wakefield community a better place for each of us to call home.”

Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio noted that he played for Coach Simpson as did Maio’s son Nick.

“You made me a better person, you made my kids better people, and all the people who played for you,” Maio said.

Town Councilor Ann Santos also shared her memories of Coach Simpson, noting that as she was growing up in Wakefield, “Basketball was like a religion in my family.” She recalled attending games and also talked about having Simpson as an 8th grade history teacher.

“Thank you for everything you’ve done,” Santos said.

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