Angelo Thomas leaving Hopkins Academy to coach Greenfield boys basketball

  • Hopkins Academy Hopkins Academy boys basketball coach Angelo Thomas talks to his team during a timeout against Maynard in the 2017 state Division 4 semifinal, at DCU Center in Worcester. JERREY ROBERTS

  • ANGELO THOMAS

  • Hopkins Academy Hopkins Academy boys basketball coach Angelo Thomas shouts to his team during a timeout against Maynard in the 2017 state Division 4 semifinal, at DCU Center in Worcester. JERREY ROBERTS

Staff reporter
Published: 10/8/2018 7:16:03 PM

Angelo Thomas grew up in Greenfield. He won a Western Massachusetts championship in Greenfield. He teaches in Greenfield. He lives in Greenfield. His kids go to school in Greenfield.

Starting this season, he’ll coach high school boys basketball in Greenfield. Thomas is leaving Hopkins Academy after five years and taking over the Green Wave, he confirmed Monday.

“The end determining factor for myself was my family,” Thomas said. “I wanted to be closer to them more throughout the year.”

He has a long history with the Green Wave. Thomas played three years of varsity basketball for Greenfield, leading the Green Wave to the Western Mass. finals every year. Greenfield won its only sectional title in 1994 with Thomas and played for a state championship, losing to Duxbury.

“Absolutely that was another determining factor being my alma mater,” Thomas said.

He previously coached the middle school team from 2007-10 and Greenfield’s JV team from 2010-13.

Thomas took over a Hopkins program that went 3-16 the year before he arrived and was winless the year before that. The Golden Hawks won three sectional titles under Thomas. He’s leaving Hopkins Academy with a 98-17 record and as a two-time Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association West Division 4 coach of the year.

“The last five years at Hopkins for me have been five of the best years of my coaching career if not the best,” he said.

Thomas takes over for Tim Caplice, who was with the Green Wave for two years. Coaches at Greenfield work under one-year contracts, athletic director Mike Kuchieski said, so the position was available.

“He’s a teacher in the school,” Kuchieski said. “He had the opportunity, and he took it.”

Greenfield qualified for the Division 3 tournament last year at 7-14 after finishing second in the Hampshire North League.

“I know very little right now. I’ve taught all the kids throughout all their elementary and middle school levels,” Thomas said. “But as far as what they are as basketball players, I don’t know a ton. I’m looking to learn some things.”

Thomas’ departure did not surprise Hopkins Academy athletic director Erik Sudnick. Thomas communicated with him that he was applying and fully explained his reasoning.

“He was open and honest with me the whole time. We were on the same page,” Sudnick said. “There was no animosity or hard feelings. He was very professional about it.”

Hopkins Academy will post the position and begin interviews as soon as they can to have something concrete in place for the winter.

“Our focus is going to be moving forward,” Sudnick said.

It wasn’t an easy decision for Thomas to leave the Golden Hawks.

“With what we went through and how high you set the bar an the relationships you develop with the kids and the families, it’s hard,” he said. “Hopkins was a great place to coach, and whoever’s going to be the next coach is going to absolutely love it.”

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.



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