Brockton native gets 400th win as coach of Stonehill baseball
BY Jim Fenton
EASTON, Mass. - During his four years as a Stonehill College student-athlete in the 1980s, Patrick Boen made a significant impact on two sports.
The Brockton native was the starting point guard on the men's basketball team and the shortstop on the baseball team during careers that ranged from November 1985-May 1989.
More than 20 years after earning his degree at Stonehill, Boen is still making a significant impact on one of the school's athletic programs.
Now in his 15th year as the head baseball coach, Boen has built the Skyhawks into a consistent winner, finishing below .500 only once since being hired in 1998 and recording at least 25 victories 11 times.
With Stonehill's 4-1 baseball victory over UMass-Lowell on Wednesday, Boen reached an impressive milestone by recording the 400th win of his career.
Only former women's basketball coach Paula Sullivan, who won 478 games, has more coaching victories at Stonehill.
For Boen (400-291-2), being able to coach at his alma mater is a special part of his life.
"I just love it, I really do,'' said Boen, a key member of the 1985 Brockton High state championship basketball team. "It's just such an enjoyable job. I've got neighbors and friends that always ask me, 'Do you need a bus driver? Do you need an assistant coach?'
"I wouldn't trade my job. We have a great college and we get great kids. It's definitely a dream job being at your alma mater and being around college baseball players. It's just a great job, a great experience. I really think of all the players over the years that have influenced all of those 400 wins.''
After graduation, Boen spent a year teaching and working as an assistant baseball coach at Tampa Prep in Florida before returning home and helping his father, Wally Boen, coach baseball at Southeastern Regional.
The younger Boen was hired to worked in the Stonehill athletic department in 1992 and took over the baseball program when Chip Forrest departed six years later. Stonehill has gone to the Northeast-10 Conference tournament 10 times and reached the NCAAs twice under Boen, a three-time conference coach of the year.
The program was having difficulty before Boen took over, but he quickly got things on the right track with nine straight winning seasons.
"At that time, the program was struggling a little bit, hadn't been to the playoffs in a few years,'' said Boen, whose team broke a six-game losing streak on Wednesday and is 24-17. "I had envisioned trying to get us back to playoff-caliber baseball. We really had some good kids in the program, some strong baseball players.
"It was about getting them focused and doing the right things, that was the main priority. It didn't take too long with the guys and the talent that we had in the program.''
Boen always knew he wanted to get into coaching and following in the footsteps of his father. Wally Boen was a fixture coaching the Elks Club in the Brockton Little League before going to Southeastern, and two of his other sons, Bobby at Brockton High, and Carl at Southeastern and Coyle-Cassidy, are basketball coaches.
"I saw how he had an impact on other people,'' said Patrick Boen of his father. "We'd go out to breakfast or be watching a game at the Brockton Invitational or something and all these players were coming up and saying, 'I played for you' and a lot of players were saying they played against my dad, but wished they had him as a coach. That struck me.''
Two of the players who were All-Americas while playing for Boen at Stonehill, Billy Sittig and Junior Medina, are now coaches at Foxboro High and Canton High, respectively, and square off in the Hockomock League.
"I couldn't be more proud to go to that game and sit in between the two dugouts,'' said Boen, who added that he was also drawn to coaching because of the passion of his former Stonehill coach, Lou Colitti. "It was great to have an influence that your own players wanted to get into coaching.''