Page 44 - CHSCA Fall-Winter Magazine 2020-2021
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team at Hand and served as a freshman and assistant coach for the Hand football team. Barron was head coach of the boys’ lacrosse team from 1991-1999 and ended up with an 86-83 record. While he continued to be an assistant football coach at Hand, in 2000 he moved on to become an assistant coach for the Branford boys’ lacrosse team. Barron won his only state title in 2003 as an assistant coach when the Hornets won the Division II state title (Brian Adkins was head coach at the time). Frank grew up and played football at East Haven High and coached freshman football at Hand for 20-plus years. For years Barron was the state liason with U.S. Lacrosse when it came to selecting Connecticut high school boys’ lacrosse All-Americans. He was also the long time master of ceremonies for the Connecticut High School Lacrosse Coaches Association All-State banquet.
JACK PHELAN passed away unex- pectedly on July 20, 2020. Jack was born on June 14, 1954 to Marian Ben- nett Phelan and Kenneth Phelan in Hartford. Jack loved his hometown, loved growing up on Oxford Street in the West End of the city with his family and loved Elizabeth Park, where he was able to run and play as children of the 1960’s were free to do.
Jack attended Saint Joseph’s Cathedral School in Hartford through the eighth grade, was a proud 1972 graduate of Northwest Catholic High School, and after a year at Saint Thomas More Prep School, Jack went on to Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania where he enjoyed a stel- lar career on the basketball court. Upon graduation in 1977, Jack was drafted by both the NBA Golden State Warriors in the 6th round and by the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers, despite having played only one year of football in high school. Coaching was his first love. He was a natural and used his skills in all he did. After his brief stints in the NBA and NFL, Jack took a graduate assistant position at Niagara University, and then moved on to an assistant basketball coach position at Fairfield University. From there Jack was hired to come to the University of Hartford as head men’s basketball coach. Jack held that position from 1981-1992, during which time he led the team’s move from Division II to Division I. At one time, Jack was the youngest Division I coach in the country. Jack’s role for the past seventeen years was director of athletics at Farmington High School. He loved this posi- tion and made many meaningful and lasting friendships there. He loved the students in the high school and wanted them to experience the joy of sports that had enriched his entire life. Jack was a mentor to more people than could be counted. Colleagues and friends looked to him for career advice and college recommendations for their children. Jack knew everyone. Jack made everyone around him feel
important. He had a knack for names and remembrances from years past. His storytelling skills were second to none. Jack was inducted into the Northwest Catholic High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the University of Hartford’s Athletic Hall of Fame as a Trailblazer in 2009 and last summer he was inducted into the Saint Francis University Hall of Fame.
JUDY SAMAHA, a longtime coach, teacher, basketball official and athletic director at Sheehan High in Wallingford, died Wednesday at 75. Samaha coached softball at Lyman Hall in Wallingford, along with Sheehan and the University of New Haven. She began her teaching career in the Wallingford school sys- tem in 1971. Said current Sheehan AD
Chris Dailey: “Judy has left a lasting legacy on the Sheehan community. Anyone who knew her probably has a funny story about something she said or did that also captures how much she cared about the kids and the coaches. She was never at a loss for words and would always stand up for what she believed in. She was one of a kind. I am thankful that I got to know her and am honored to work in the posi- tion that she once held with such pride.” Samaha is credited with the creation of the popular powder puff game between Sheehan and Lyman Hall, which she started in 1972 when she was a physical education teacher at Sheehan “It’s the biggest spring event in the town, by leaps and bounds. She wanted something for females and she did it,” said Matt Altieri, who served as Sheehan’s baseball coach from 1995- 2019. “Judy was was women’s rights before women’s rights and she embodied that. Every female athlete who puts a Titan uniform on should say thanks and a prayer to Judy Samaha.” The Titans played crosstown rival Lyman Hall in that first game. That game is now called the Samaha Bowl and continues to draw huge crowds during Thanksgiving week.
RAY RAMELLI The Hamden com- munity and beyond is mourning the death of former longtime Sacred Heart Academy softball coach Ray Ramelli, who was also a retired firefighter. Ramelli died Monday night due to complications following surgery. He was 74. Ramelli helped start the Sacred Heart Academy soft- ball program and had three different
stints as head coach. He also coached at Sheehan. Ramelli’s last stint as Sacred Heart coach was from 2008-14. He guided the Sharks to their magical postseason run and the program’s lone state championship in 2011.
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