NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – Northbridge High School football coach Ken Lachapelle was honored Tuesday as New England Patriots High School Coach of the Week.
Lachapelle, who celebrated his 300th career win at a game against Southbridge last weekend, said he was surprised and happy with the award, which includes $1,000 for the school’s football program.
“It’s a positive reflection on the school, the football program and the town. Everyone has been a part of this in some way,’’ Lachapelle said.
He began his coaching career at Northbridge High School in 1976, but his involvement with the NHS Rams began years before as an NHS football standout himself.
He’s coached his three sons, now coaches two of his grandsons, and there are younger grandsons waiting in the wings, one of them water boy for this year’s term.
Lachapelle is one of only three Massachusetts coaches to reach the 300-win milestone and the only one to have spent his entire career at one school.
It isn’t a goal he’s consciously worked for. “You never think of that eventuality when you start coaching,’’ he said. He said hes been fortunate in that the kids he’s coached “responded to what we’ve trying to do.’’
The Coach of the Week award was presented by Andre Tippett, Patriots Hall of Famer and executive director of community affairs.
This is the 17th year of the High School Coach of the Week through which the Patriots and the National Football League recognize outstanding high school coaches and promotes youth football throughout New England.
Two years ago, Tippet took the award on the road so he could visit the schools that benefit from the program.
Tippett oversees the program as part of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation’s commitment to youth football initiatives.
At the conclusion of the season, one high school coach will be named the New England Patriots High School Coach of the Year and will receive an additional $2,000 contribution toward the school’s football program.
The visit and check presentation will be featured on the team’s weekly television magazine show, Patriots All Access, which airs at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, on WBZ-TV in Boston and will be available immediately after on Patriots.com.