UPDATED: Herb Grace Wins 300th Game as Medfield Boys' Hoops Beat Belmont
Medfield High School boys’ basketball beat Belmont, 57-53 in Tuesday’s Muscato Tournament opener at Oliver Ames High School.
Editor's note: This article was updated at 9:22 a.m., Dec. 28 to include comments from Medfield High School Athletic Director Jon Kirby.
Medfield boys’ basketball head coach Herb Grace reached a milestone Tuesday night in Easton as his Warriors defeated Belmont, 57-53 in the opening game of the Muscato Tournament at Oliver Ames High School in Easton.
That milestone was his 300th career win as a head coach, reaching the feat five games into the 2011-2012 season as Medfield improves to 3-2 to begin the year.
"Coaching in Medfield is a dream come true for me," Grace said after Tuesday's game. "I played for 'The Big Blue' and take great pride in our program. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else that's for sure."
In fact, Medfield High School Athletic Director, Jon Kirby, was Grace's freshman basketball coach.
"He was a tireless worker on the court and worked hard on his game," Kirby recalled of Grace. "He made himself into a collegiate player. He has been a tremendous success as a coach because of these attributes."
Grace said his 300th career win was a testament to the many players and assistant coaches to come through the program throughout the years.
"Three hundred wins means I have had the opportunity to coach some great kids and coach with some great people," Grace said. "It also means that I'm getting pretty old."
Of his 300 victories, Grace said there have been "so many great ones over the years," but when asked to pick one, he chose a tournament game in 2007.
"It's hard for me to pick out just one," Grace said. "I would have to say the time we beat Scituate to get to the garden in '07 is up there."
Grace, staying true to form, remained focus on the game at hand Tuesday, citing the Warriors' victory against Belmont an important one.
"Hey, beating a 3-0 Belmont team [Tuesday] out of the Middlesex league is as good as it gets in the regular season," Grace said.
The Warriors are dedicating their season to assistant coach Ken Brackett, who passed away this past March. Brackett had been a great influence to Grace on and off the court during their time together in Medfield and Grace took time Tuesday to remember his close friend.
"I wish Kenny could have been there," Grace said. "I know he is watching. I think of him every day. Not just when I'm on the basketball court. He was a tremendous friend. We're all trying to make him proud."
Kirby said Grace's passion has been a driving force to his success over the years.
"Many things stand out to me when thinking of Herb Grace," Kirby said. "His sense of humor, his passion for basketball, his love for teaching and coaching, and his passion for the Big Blue. ... What a great thrill [of winning 300th career game]. Good for Herb and the Big Blue."
Grace thanked his assistant coach, Mike Mason, Kirby and his family for their influence and support in reaching this milestone.
"Mike Mason [assistant coach] has helped me out over the years," Grace said. "Mike and I coached together for 15 years. He's back helping us out this year. He's a great coach and friend.
"My AD, Jon Kirby, has been a great influence. People don't realize how far back me and Jon go. Jon was my assistant baskeball coach when I played in Medfield. He was also my baseball coach.
"I'd like to mention how much my family has meant to me during my
years coaching and playing for the Big Blue. My wife, Paula, is the
biggest Big Blue fan I know. My two daughters love following the team
also. I still call my dad after every game."
Medfield (3-2, 2-2) will play the winner of Tuesday’s Oliver Ames/Dartmouth game in Friday’s championship game at 7:30 p.m. at Oliver Ames High School.