After guiding the Scituate High girls’ basketball team to a 20-0 regular season and the program’s first Division 2 South title, Buckley has decided to step down as head coach after eight very rewarding seasons. He informed his players at the team’s breakup dinner Wednesday night.
“It’s so sad, our trip to the state semifinals, our first sectional championship, our first undefeated [regular] season, it was eight special years,” said Buckley, a longtime Quincy resident who has coached at the high school and college level for nearly four decades.
“But it’s nice to leave on top, with the success we had this season.” In January, he retired as the athletic director at Quincy College.
He departs Scituate with a 131-47 record (45-4 the last two seasons), four South Shore League titles, and 12 victories in the state tournament.
His last Sailor team (24-1 overall), led by senior forwards Shannon Brady and Megan Otto, along with junior point guard Kelly Martin, advanced to the state semifinals at TD Garden before falling to eventual state champion Reading, 71-64, in overtime. Even in defeat, Buckley proudly called it “the greatest game I ever been a part of.”
His own playing career ended at the old Garden, when his Archbishop Williams squad lost to a Catholic Memorial juggernaut featuring Fran Costello (Providence), Billy Raynor (Dartmouth) and freshman sixth man King Gaskins. “Kind of fitting,” he said, noting that both Reading and CM went undefeated.
He lauded the support the Sailors received from the "whole town" all season, noting the vocal crowd at the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, and also pointed out that with the return of three starters, including Martin, Scituate will contend again next season.
“I’ve never had a vacation longer than three days in the winter, now my wife and I can spend more time in Florida,” added Buckley, a head coach for 27 years, with stops at Quincy College, Curry College, BC High, Archbishop Williams (girls) and Scituate.
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- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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