UMass mourns loss of coach

Published: 6/13/2018 1:32:02 AM

UMass football operations director Paul Gorham passed away Saturday, the school announced Tuesday in a release.

He was 57. No cause of death was announced. Gorham completed his fourth season as the operations director in 2017.

“Paul was an unbelievable person and a true friend that was as trustworthy and genuine as anyone I have ever known,” UMass head coach Mark Whipple said. “He was a phenomenal coach and a great recruiter, and I was blessed to be able to work alongside him for two decades. So much of the success I’ve had throughout my career is because of who he was as a friend and a coach.”

Gorham and Whipple worked together at the University of New Haven (1988-93) and Brown (1994-98) before coaching at UMass from 199-2003.

During that time he recruited David Thompson, who played for the Minutemen from 2002-06 and earned Atlantic-10 all-conference honors in 2006.

“All of my memories with Coach Gorham were great. It hurts to know that he’s gone,” said Thompson, who coaches track & field at Amherst Regional High School. “There’s a chance I wouldn’t have been there if it wasn’t for him. Coach Gorham pushed us to the limit, he pushed us to be great.”

From 2004 to 2011 Gorham was Sacred Heart’s head coach. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a respiratory disease, forced Gorham to step away from coaching. He underwent a double leg amputation and a double lug transplant because of the disease.

Gorham played tight end at New Hampshire and took his first coaching job as a graduate assistant there in 1986.

UMass will release information about services for Gorham if it receives them from the family.

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