Page 27 - CHSCA Magazine Issue 2, 2019-2020
P. 27

Despite health setback, 84-year-old Connecticut girls high school basketball coach is not the retiring type
 By Lori Riley
Reprinted with permission from The Hartford Courant
He walks down the stairs and un- der the overhang that reads, “Wel- come to the Dave Shea Gymnasium.”
He walks onto the court. His name is there, too. Maybe it’s a little before basketball practice starts and there’s a girl on the court, shooting or dribbling or doing something with a basketball.
Dave Shea will notice something about her post-up move that’s not quite right. He’ll walk across the court to offer advice, to fix the prob- lem.
This is something inherent in Dave Shea. At age 84, he’s been coaching basketball for 48 years. He started playing basketball in sixth grade.
Shea was planning on coaching the Bacon Academy girls basketball team for the 26th season, until right before Thanksgiving when he was told to take it easy after having a pacemaker implanted in his chest.
And yet on Thursday afternoon, there was Dave Shea on Dave Shea Court, explaining something to a Ba- con post player during the scout for Friday’s Plainfield game, giving girls pointers and helping out with prac- tice.
His son, John, who was going to be his assistant, is now the head coach. Jeff Savitsky is the freshman coach. And Dave?
“I’m just going to help out when I can,” he said. “I’ll do what I can. They have some restrictions on me as
Dave Shea
 far as being a game coach and get- ting all excited and whatnot.”
Luckily, Shea has mellowed a bit since his early days of coaching.
“[My doctor] probably doesn’t even know the extent of what I’m do- ing.”
Well, he probably does now. “But I feel good and I’m just go-
ing to help out.”
He is not retiring. Is he taking a
year off from head coaching? Right now, yes. But if he feels good, who knows?
“A few years ago, I was think- ing about giving it up, but my wife wanted to get me out of the house, you know?” Dave said, laughing. He

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