Athletic Hall of Fame: Coach Rick Francis

Coach Rick Francis was the kind of person who not only worked tirelessly with athletes on the football field and basketball court, but served as a mentor off the field as well.

“He was always quick with a smile, a hearty hello, and a word of encouragement,” wrote Peter Kostos ’87 in his nomination. “He was also, at least to many of us who played for him, a surrogate parent, somebody we could trust and come to with a problem, concern, or question that we felt we could not ask somebody else.”

Coach Francis graduated from what was then Choate School in 1952. He played football for the CCA (Third Armored Division) in Germany in 1956 and played  football, track and baseball at Wesleyan University. He graduated from Wesleyan with a degree in psychology in 1958.

Coach Francis is the past president of Western New England Preparatory School Athletic Association, New England Preparatory School Athletic Council, and Western Mass. Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame.

As Williston Northampton’s coach and the school’s athletic director, Coach Francis led the football team to a 165-148-7 record, including undefeated seasons in 1963 and 1981. Coach Francis, who had been a former football quarterback at Wesleyan University, also led the boys basketball team to a 176-159-1 record.

“He taught us to give our best in everything,” wrote Mr. Kostos. “I cannot think of anybody more deserving to be presented with this honor and be a part of the inaugural induction class for the Williston Northampton School Athletic Hall of Fame.”

The Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony, dinner, and reception will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2013. Register to attend here.

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