After announcing his retirement from coaching the Boston English boys' basketball team last spring, Barry Robinson has decided to return for his 21st season on the sideline.
“I love it man, I can’t give it up,” he said Monday morning. “The kids wanted me back. They’ve been asking and I kept telling them ‘No’ and they kept asking, so I’m back.”
Robinson won three city championships, including back-to-back titles in 1999 and 2000. The 2000 team featured three Division 1 players (Raheim Lamb, Rasheed Quadri, and Raymond Noiles) and won the Eastern Mass. title.
Last spring, Robinson said he was leaving the post to focus on his other role as the school’s athletic coordinator. He was going to hand over the program to his assistant, Joe Chatman.
On Monday, however, Robinson said he got ahead of himself by saying he was going to hand the job to Chatman “without going through the proper channels.”
Chatman was not chosen for the job, and after the hiring process failed to find a suitable replacement, Robinson said he decided in September to come back.
“When he told me he was coming back, I told him ‘Great’ because I never wanted him to leave,” second-year headmaster Ligia Noriega-Murphy said. “We interviewed a few people and just, the gut feeling, was that there’s no passion.
"He said he wanted to do it again so I was happy with that.”
On Monday, Robinson said another reason he decided to leave the team last year was that his 12-year-old daughter is ramping up her swim career and he didn’t want to miss her meets. But Robinson said his daughter gave him her blessing to keep coaching.
Last year’s English team lost in the state tournament to Milton and this year’s team, which had its first tryout Monday, will likely have six or seven seniors.
“We have quite a few seniors, so we should be all right and in the thick of it in our conference,” Robinson said. “I’m excited about that.”
Junior point guard Stanley Davis will also be back this season.
“That’s a blessing in itself,” Robinson said. “He’s been starting at point guard since his freshman year. He’s going to be in there this year and next year, too. So from that aspect we’ll be fine.”
Robinson said he will continue to coach the team as long as they want him to stick around.
“It’s a great time for English High School,” he said. “We’re turning the corner to do a lot of positive things. A lot of positive things are going on. Attendance has gone up tremendously. [Academic] scores are up. We have more kids participating in athletics. The [required] GPA [for athletes] has gone back up to a 2.0.
“So we’re getting this place where it’s supposed to be.”
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