Williston Northampton School mourns death of first-year teacher and coach Brian Crockett

Last modified: Wednesday, March 12, 2014
EASTHAMPTON — The Williston Northampton School is mourning the unexpected loss of first-year teacher and coach Brian Crockett, who died Tuesday from “medical complications” at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, according to the school.

Crockett, a 22-year-old native of Passaic, N.J., began teaching history at Williston this fall and also helped coach the private school’s football, wrestling and track teams, according to school spokeswoman Traci Wolfe.

Wolfe said Crockett — who lived on campus — checked into the hospital over the weekend after complaining of not feeling well. She said he died suddenly Tuesday due to medical complications.

Officials at Cooley Dickinson said Crockett was admitted to the hospital Sunday. They declined to provide any other information due to health privacy laws.

In a message posted late Tuesday on Williston’s Facebook page, Head of School Bob Hill said that although Crockett had just joined the faculty, “Brian quickly became a beloved colleague, teacher, coach and friend to many in the Williston community.”

“Our thoughts are with Brian’s family at this sad time, as we join them in mourning this terrible loss,” Hill said.

Wolfe said Crockett, who graduated in 2013 with a degree in education from Colgate University in New York, was hired as a full-time teaching intern at Williston this fall to teach history and global studies. Those positions frequently lead to regular faculty appointments.

Wolfe said Crockett made an impression on students, faculty and staff at Williston.

“He was the kind of person who when you saw him crossing the quad, you would smile,” Wolfe said. “The kids loved him. This is a tremendous loss to the entire community.”

At Colgate, Crockett was a member of the university’s Division 1 football team, the Delta Upsilon Fraternity and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, according to his LinkedIn profile. A 2012 recipient of an NAACP college scholarship, he studied the lives of student athletes in college preparatory high schools and raised funds for children with rare diseases through his membership in Uplifting Athletes.

In his online profile summary, Crockett cited his background in “startup programs for kids, community service and civic engagement.”

“I believe that determination, hard work, perseverance and will are the driving forces behind achieving any goal,” he wrote.

Wolfe said the school sent an email to students and school families Tuesday informing them of Crockett’s death and letting them know that Ben Thompson, Williston’s director of psychological counseling services, was available for grief counseling with students.