Laddie Lawrence inducted into Coaches Hall of Fame


Alex Spadacenta, Assistant Business Manager

On Tuesday, March 24, it was announced that longtime Staples cross country and track coach John “Laddie” Lawrence will be initiated into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame (NHSACA).

The former Staples teacher and highly praised coach is one of 30 being recognized from a total of 16 states by NHSACA, which was founded 1996. The association’s main purpose is to honor coaches all around the country for their amazing work and dedication to their sports and athletes throughout the years.

“I was overwhelmed,” Lawrence said. “When my wife came into the room, I told her and we hugged. That is when I lost it and my eyes filled with tears.”

Lawrence began his coaching career at Staples in the ’69-’70 school year and has been a coach at Staples for 46 years. He is starting his 47th year as an outdoor track coach with 1,739 wins, 36 state championships and 31 FCIAC championships.

The criteria for being a candidate for this award consists of years of coaching and service, the win-loss record, the number of championships won, and the admiration of colleagues. Lawrence has won National Coach of the Year, the Outstanding Coach Award for track, and he has also been recognized in the FCIAC and State halls of fame.

When the time comes to choose the people to be recognized, the state association puts forward one name, but this year Connecticut put in two names.

Captains Jake Berman ’15, Oliver Hickson ’15 and Luis Cruz ’15 are ecstatic that the NHSACA is recognizing their coach.

“My relationship with Laddie is more than just a coach and his athlete,” Berman said. “Just like many seniors, our relationship with Laddie has become a friendship over the years of learning and spending time with him.”

All captains and other members of the team really feel he deserves this recognition. “He knows everything there is to know,” Cruz said.

Laddie Lawrence has left a huge impact on the Staples community, and his legacy will live on forever.

“He’s taught me to be the best competitor I can be, to be determined and that putting in the hard work pays off,”  Brandon Harrington ’17 said.