William Casey, 73, former coach, school superintendent
By Martha Bartle, Globe Correspondent, 12/19/2003
William J. Casey -- the former superintendent of schools in Abington and Belmont who coached his 1956 Taunton basketball team, known as "Casey's Crushers," through an undefeated season -- died Dec. 13 of cancer at Morton Hospital in Taunton. He was 73.
"He had a real desire to be as helpful, encouraging, and inspiring as possible and to influence his students and shape their lives in a positive way," his son Joseph of Boston said yesterday.
A lifelong resident of Taunton, Dr. Casey graduated from Coyle Cassidy High School and studied history at the College of the Holy Cross. After graduating in 1952, he began teaching and coaching basketball at Taunton High School. He relished the letters he received decades later from his former players who still referred to him as coach.
In 1960, he became the director of guidance for Avon public schools, where he met Maryjane Mulvanity, who was a teacher. Dr. Casey would write poems and have his students deliver them to Ms. Mulvanity, whom he married in 1962, his daughter Carolyn of Boston said.
After a stint as director of guidance for the Randolph public schools, Dr. Casey became assistant superintendent in Taunton and obtained his doctorate in education from Boston College.
"He was a real class act," said Robert Consalvo, who knew Dr. Casey for 30 years and served as an adviser on his dissertation. "I'll always remember his ability to get the most out of people. He was kind of like a team builder, getting lots of good people around him and getting the most out of them for the betterment of the kids."
From 1972 to 1977, Dr. Casey was superintendent of Abington schools and was later superintendent in Belmont until retiring in 1988. "I could have a conversation with him about school administration or money," Consalvo said, "but every conversation turned into something about the kids. He always reminded people that it was for the kids."
His other passion, his children said, was the Holy Cross Alumni Association. For 51 years he was the chairman of his class and was elected president in 1980.
After retiring, Dr. Casey devoted his time to his family, especially to his granddaughter, Riley, 3.
In addition to his wife, daughter, son, and granddaughter, Dr. Casey leaves another daughter, Kathleen of Newport, R.I.; another son, Michael of Wellesley; and a sister, Patricia of Taunton. A Mass will be said today in St. Mary's Church, Taunton, at 11 a.m.
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