Word came out this past week that two veteran Berkshire League girls’ basketball coaches, Bob McMahon and Adam Brutting, were resigning their positions. Hmm?
I knew both of these kids when I helped out coaching the Thomaston baseball team with Gregg Hunt.
I call them kids; you might not. Bob is 51 and Adam is 48.
It must be that they just got tired of all the pressure and hard work that goes into coaching high school basketball, both girls and boys.
McMahon and Brutting both grew up playing at Thomaston High School, and that town is very supportive and interested in its teams.
McMahon says he is quitting so he can watch his high school age kids play their sports. The rumor that I heard was that Brutting was quitting to go back and take more college classes.
Coaching basketball is just not as much fun these days, even when a team is winning. Coaches don’t get together and enjoy themselves like they used to.
When I was coaching Nonnewaug in the ‘80s, the best times I ever had were get-togethers at Wamogo coach Ken Gladding’s pad, where Paul Ebbs (Thomaston), Vin Avitabile (Terryville), Steve Pickett and Rob Gollow (Shepaug), Kevin Riley (Housatonic) and others would all drop in and make each other laugh for endless hours.
Just about every league coach except Fred Williams and Gerry Hicks attended these parties. Maybe they are still coaching today at age 70 and 72 respectively, because they went home early each night.
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Now the big question is who will take over at Nonnewaug and Thomaston? Brutting’s assistant coach, Toby Denham, has also resigned, although he will continue to coach the boys’ soccer team.
The new coach may come from the outside. I thought Al Ciarlo, the coach at Lewis Mills, might be interested, since he runs an eating place in Woodbury that is only a couple miles from the school.
I think he will ponder the idea, but he still has some good players on his Mills team and he may choose to endure the long ride to Burlington for another year or two.
Coach Ciarlo thinks that ex-Nonnewaug All-Star, Katie Burke, would be a great choice. She coached at Kennedy in Waterbury recently, but she might be more comfortable coming home to the friendly confines of the Ed Sadlon Gym.
As for the Thomaston position? Some, including myself, originally thought that Brutting would move in at Thomaston. I attempted to get in touch with him, but he did not reply.
Talking to a couple other people from Thomaston, the feeling now is that Brian Mozelak might be next in line for the Bears job.
Brian was a great baseball and basketball player for the Thomaston teams, and he served as one of McMahon’s leading assistant coaches the past few years. He has at least one daughter who will be on the team.
Regardless of who the two new coaches are, they will have two of the top four teams in the B.L.
Nonnewaug and Thomaston will battle for the championship against good teams from Northwestern and Gilbert.
And those teams will still have the two old guys calling the shots, just like they have for almost 50 years.