After 52 years at the helm and 612 wins, Burlington’s varsity baseball coach Jim Curtin is retiring, Burlington Athletic Director Ed Gillis announced Monday.
Curtin, who came to the team in 1960, meticulously built the Red Devils baseball program from the ground up.
“Jim is a great man and a great coach,” Gillis said. “He had 612 wins, but more importantly, Jim was always concerned about the school.”
Last season, Curtin took a medical leave of absence, while interim head coach Chris Nance led the Red Devils to a 15-9 record and the Division 2 North title.
Curtin last coached in 2011, recorded his 600th win April 11th with a 10-4 win against Watertown and finished with a 13-8 record and lost in the first round of the Div. 2 North tournament.
He is just the sixth coach in Massachusetts to surpass the 600-win plateau.
Curtin has appeared in the MIAA North Sectional Tournament 39 times, while winning 12 Middlesex and Merrimack Valley conference titles.
“It has been a true honor and privilege to have coached so many remarkable student-athletes,” Curtin wrote in his retirement letter. “Throughout my career I have done my best to be a successful baseball coach, but more importantly serve as a role model for the young men entrusted to me.
“Over the course of six decades, I have made coaching baseball a key priority in my life. During that time, I never lost my enthusiasm for working with young people and my love of the game has never wavered. The decision to retire at this time was ultimately about my family and staying healthy for my 17 grandchildren.”
Gillis said he plans for Nance, the junior varsity coach who has been an assistant with Curtin for over 10 years, to take over as varsity head coach.
“Jim is irreplaceable,” Gillis said, who’s served as Burlington’s AD for 14 years. “But we’re in good shape since Chris has taken the reigns, as he showed last year.
“But it’s tough to lose a guy like Jim. He was always charged, ran an excellent program and was always on top of the kids as far as being good students and athletes. He was a real leader and I took a lot of advice from Jim.”
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