Bridgewater State University has a history of producing and employing coaches who help student athletes achieve success beyond the sports arena.
Two of those coaches were recently recognized for their efforts.
On Nov. 4, current women’s head basketball coach Bridgett Casey (pictured at left below) and the late Suzanne Rivard, ’62, were inducted into the New Agenda: Northeast Hall of Fame.
New Agenda recognizes women who commit themselves to girls and women in sport throughout New England.
Joan Casabian, ’66, and Marica Crooks, ’55, served on the New Agenda: Northeast 2018 Hall of Fame Committee that received and reviewed this year’s nominations.
Olivia Delgrosso, ’19, was recruited by and plays for Casey, who has led the team for the past 21 years. She said the recognition is well deserved.
“Playing for Coach Casey is a great opportunity and honor because of her 20-plus years of experience and dedication to the game,” she said. “Coach Casey pushes me to be the best person I can be on and off the court. She motivates us to give 100 percent in the classroom and on the court.”
Sarah Shaw, BSU assistant women’s basketball coach, said there are endless ways in which Casey supports her players both on and off the court, but it is her ability to teach life lessons as well that sets her apart.
“Coach Casey is very passionate and knowledgeable about what she does,” Shaw said. “She is a very caring and selfless individual which shines through in her coaching style.”
During the Nov. 4 induction ceremony held at the Woodland Golf Country Club in Newton, Sheila McKenna, ’62, spoke fondly of her 58-year friendship with Rivard, who passed away in 2016.
The two met as freshman in 1958 when standing on line to receive a dorm room assignment at what was then Bridgewater Teachers College. After exchanging pleasantries it was discovered the two had faced off earlier that year in the Narragansett Girls Basketball Championship Game.
Rivard (Pictured at top right), who played for Somerset, had said, “I took the final shot and missed.” McKenna, who competed on the championship Fairhaven team, responded, “And I got the rebound and we won. Want to be my roommate?”
The two became steadfast friends.
After graduating from Bridgewater, Rivard took her degree in physical education and subsequently taught for 37 years at Oliver Ames High School in Easton. There, she served as a physical education teacher, assistant principal, and coach of the girls basketball, softball and field hockey teams. She was inducted into the Oliver Ames High School Hall of Fame in 2005.
“She worked hard, played hard and studied hard,” McKenna said.