Whimsy #3 – Coach Bragg

BraggI’m gonna miss this scene.

That’s Coach Tom Bragg, sporting his ever-present Hyde letter sweater, and his able assistant Mark Duethorn, checking out the pre-game warm-ups at the 2013 New England Prep School championship hoops game vs. Hebron.  (Did his Hyde-Woodstock Wolfpack win?  Check out the photo below to find out.)

After 24 years at courtside for both Bath and Woodstock, Tom has moved on to pursue new coaching avenues, perhaps in the college ranks.

At risk of understatement, 24 years doesn’t really begin to tell the story of Tom at Hyde.  I was a young director of admissions when Tom arrived at Bath in 1980 as a tall and gangly sophomore.  During his three years as a student he distinguished himself in a range of pursuits before moving on to become Hyde’s only alum to play 2 NCAA Division 1 sports — basketball and football at Western Illinois.

He joined the Hyde faculty during the 1990-91 year and, as a teacher, pretty much echoed the distinction he embodied as a student.  He served as a teacher (esp. photography, an interest he picked up as a Hyde student), a respected and beloved Dean of Students — many manage to pull off the former, but only the few manage to commingle it with the latter — and coach of basketball, football, and women’s lacrosse.

Beyond the gates, he became best known and respected for the role he played in the photo above.  Whether Bath or Woodstock, men or women, his teams earned accolades for play and sportsmanship.  He also prepared a number of Hyde alums — men and women — on to distinguished careers on the hardwood and playing fields.

Sweet Tommy B!!! Gonna miss him.  But, even though I don’t think he listens to them, he knows that The Eagles were right: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

Bragg 2Onward,  Malcolm Gauld