iBerkshires.com Sports05:48AM / Monday, December 24, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A North County tradition continued this month when Ed Noel presented the 2018 Frank A. Zoltek Passion for Coaching Award to two longtime high school mentors.
Retired Mount Greylock girls cross country coach Larry Bell, who was able to end his illustrious career with a state championship in 2017, was recognized along with Mike Dowling, a two-sport coach at McCann Tech.
Dowling was joined by his family for the presentation in the McCann gymnasium after leading his Hornets junior varsity girls basketball team and before a McCann varsity game.
Also the school’s head soccer coach, Dowling was described as a true teacher who cared about the whole student, by his son and daughter, who introduced him to the crowd.
Aimee Dowling, a 2017 McCann Tech graduate who played two sports for her dad, recalled that one year, following a particularly successful girls soccer season, the Hornets were bumped up a class. And, predictably, they struggled.
“By the end of the season, other teams were complimenting us on how much we had improved and how hard we worked,” the younger Dowling said.
Bell, a science teacher and a member of the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame, was recognized at a small ceremony at the school, where he was joined by some of his former athletes.
The Passion for Coaching Award, known as “The Frankie,” honors Zoltek, a longtime high school and college coach in several sports, who coached basketball at Drury and the former St. Joseph High School, coaching four teams to Western Massachusetts titles.
Bell is the seventh Mount Greylock coach to receive the award, which began in 2007. Dowling is the fourth McCann Tech coach to be recognized.
Past winners of the Frank A. Zoltek Passion for Coaching Award:
2007 – Bill Robinson
2008 – Ray Miro
2009 – Bob LeClair and Bob Rivard
2010 – Jack Racette, Holly McGovern, Paul Barrett
2011 – Ed Noel and Erika DeSanty
2012 – George Canales and Steve Phaneuf
2013 – Shawn Flaherty
2014 – Al Giorgi and Mike Larabee
2015 – Blair Dils, Hilary and Hiram Greene, Steve Messina
2016 – Paul Sniezek and Ron Wojcik
2017 – John Jacobbe
2018 – Larry Bell, Mike Dowling