Dartmouth High Basketball Court Will Be Named for Beloved Coach
Let’s face it. In 2022, not much is unanimous People go out of their way to argue over anything and everything.
That’s why Dartmouth Superintendent Dr. Bonny Gifford was ready for a long series of meetings when the idea came up about dedicating the high school basketball court to someone.
“I went to the school committee to find out the policy and procedure for naming something school-related after a person,” Gifford said. “I collected a diverse group of people including players, coaches and teachers to get their input, then scheduled a series of meetings, fully prepared to review the criteria and to moderate debates about who should receive the honor.”
Shockingly, the first meeting was a quick one.
“Everyone came to the meeting with the same name: Steve Gaspar. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to pick someone. Every single person was in full agreement.”
When we asked Gaspar what he thought about the unanimous decision, he humbly said, “That’s news to me. I hadn’t heard that.”
Not surprising to any of his former players, the coach downplayed his role, praising the kids that he coached.
“When I got the chance to coach varsity, I remember our Athletic Director Carlin Lynch telling me that it wasn’t about the X’s and O’s, it was all about leaving a positive impact on these kids.”
JP Winterhalter was a player for Gaspar from 1992-1996 before volunteering as an assistant basketball coach alongside Gaspar from 2008-2011.
“This was a no-brainer,” Winterhalter said. “With Coach Gaspar, you’d never know that he had so much success as a player himself at Dartmouth High, then in college. He never made it about him. He would make sure that the wins were all about the players, and that the losses were his fault. He could have done something different.”
Does Gaspar Miss Roaming the Courtside?
Gaspar said that he definitely misses coaching, especially the practices. He’s not upset, however, that he’s missing the era of vocal parents.
“I hear about all the parents and the complaining. I don’t miss that,” he said with a laugh. "What I love now is watching my grandson play JV in Franklin every Tuesday and Friday."
The Golden Rule
“The important thing I wanted to teach my players wasn’t about basketball," Gaspar said. "It was to treat other people the way you’d want to be treated.”
Gaspar said the worst part about being a coach was having to cut players.
“It’s just part of basketball," he said. "We’re only allowed to have so many players on the roster, but you never get used to cutting the players. That was the worst.”
Gaspar’s career spanned 42 years between volunteering and freshman, junior varsity and varsity boys basketball.
The dedication of the Steve Gaspar court will take place during a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 7, between the Dartmouth High School boys team and New Bedford High School.
The ceremony is set for 4:15 p.m.