ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS
Raymond E. Beaupre, Jr.After graduating from North Attleboro High School in 1961, Ray Beaupre, Jr. boarded a Greyhound bus, and fifty-five hours later arrived in Missoula, Montana. After four years as an offensive guard and linebacker for the Grizzlies, Ray graduated from the University of Montana with a Bachelors Degree in Health and Physical Education. Upon his return to New England, and after a brief stint as a substitute teacher back at North Attleboro High, Ray headed north to Bennington, Vermont, where he began his career in education by teaching Physical Education and coaching football, basketball and track from 1966 to 1968.
Excellence in Education
In the summer of 1968, opportunity knocked and the stage was set for Ray to return to his alma mater. The school department had some teaching positions available and the football program was suffering through some desperate times. Superintendent Vincent McGee turned to some familiar names in an attempt to reverse the recent misfortune: Bob Guthrie, Art Nunes, Tom Schmidt and Ray Beaupre. Ray was assigned to teach Phys Ed at the Junior High School and to coach football with the others at the High School. Three years later he was transferred to the High School and was well on his way to becoming one of the most successful teacher/coaches in the school’s history.
Although he is perhaps best known for his success as a football coach, equally significant were his contributions as a teacher. Whether he was on the gridiron or in the gymnasium, Ray was first and foremost an educator. As a Physical Education instructor, he had the uncanny ability to reach out to all of his students and make them feel important. His competitive nature helped create a generation of students who refused to lose, whether it was in a pickleball game, on the softball diamond, or in the game of life.
In 1976, Ray was named the Head Football Coach and saw to it that the resurgence of the early ‘70’s would continue for many years to come. His 159 wins, 50 losses, and 6 ties clearly illustrate his unprecedented level of success. What is immeasurable, however, is the influence he had on the hundreds of young men who wore the red and white during his coaching career. It was through his steady guidance and leadership that the valuable lessons of commitment, loyalty, toughness and discipline were imparted on scores of Red Rocketeers. The fact that eight coaches on the current football staff are former players of Ray Beaupre serves as a testament to his enduring influence.
In 1985, Ray also inherited the title of Athletic Director as fellow alumnus Ken Pickering vacated the position in order to assume the duties of Assistant Principal. Under Ray’s leadership, the entire athletic program continued to flourish, culminating in the awarding of the Hockomock League All Sports Trophy in six out of eight years from 1989-1996. In 1996, after 21 years at the helm, Ray stepped down as the Head Football Coach, and in 2001, he retired as Athletic Director. Upon his retirement and in recognition of his outstanding career, the football field at NAHS was named in his honor.
Ray and his wife Andrea currently reside in Harwich, MA, and are the proud parents of Neal (’89) and Greg (’93), and the proud grandparents of Jake and Alexa. Ray also remains active and competitive touring the country as the starting pitcher on his over-55 softball team.
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