One aspect of real Lexington that gave credence to high property taxes was the high school football coach who at one time was the oldest football coach in America, William “Bill” Tighe. What a privilege to play for everybody knew, loved and respected.
Coach Tighe was the seasonal flank and perfect compliment to another long time legendary basketball coach Bob Farias. Ad if you were the rare athlete that could play for both of them, they were coaches you’d ever soon forget. Coach Tighe was tough and all heart. He wanted your best and understood when things didn’t work out because that’s life. He never forgot the name of any player that ever played for him. I ca attest to this because I played only one year and stunk. But I could see him tomorrow, he’d smile remember my name, position and be close on my year of graduation.
Still he won more than he lost, taking the 1985 team to the D1 Super Bowl against Brockton at Sullivan stadium which at that time was the largest high school east of the Missippi in the country. He loved the game and he loved the kids. And he was and remains a treasure of wisdom. And like Coach Farias he was also forced to resign, and it wasn’t the yelling as much as the age I believe which is outrageously discriminate and undeserving. At least he was given the proper send off many men will undertake the art of a teacher few will impact the lives of kids as a Coach Tighe.
He’d eternally comment his favorite part of the job and proudest moments were his players that went on and accomplished amazing things in their own lives. The kid that grew to help others became a man that understood the art of giving back and those were the stories he most cherished. I remember being burned out at the thought of basketball by that senior year, asking Coach Tighe if he thought I could compete collegiately in football. He said if I wanted it, I could and that next week I was in touch with (Junior) college of the red woods, Cali. And that’s when he becomes much more than a coach. His true skill and he’ll admit this, was getting kids to college, which on a basic level should be the genesis of the gig and a true skill.
In 2006-07 filming our documentary on Lexington basketball Coach Farias shared one of his favorite Coach Tight stores with the team, which involved me. And it involved Coach Tighe yanking on my facemask as I was vomiting on the sideline telling me to get back in the game. I’m sure that would be shot out of the sky by the ruling trophy generation of parents and soft school committee’s during today’s tough times. Coach Tighe is an incredible almost national treasure and this morning we salute you Billy Tighe on Gorilla Dunk Daily.
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