ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS
Robert L. GuthrieWhen considering the people, traditions and institutions that come together to represent the spirit of our community, one can see the fingerprint of Robert "Bob" Guthrie of the Class of 1961 on all three components in North Attleboro.
Community Impact Award
From his days as a distinguished NAHS athlete, through his tenure as a classroom teacher and coach, to his work with the children of the community in myriad roles, Bob has touched the people of this community for generations. He has been a driving force in one of its most cherished traditions, and has spent over four decades contributing to an institution that has affected the lives of thousands of North Attleboro children for generations.
His leadership, his compassion, and his service to the community can be traced all the way back to his days as a student at North Attleboro High School. A three-time class president, varsity football and baseball player, and captain of both teams as a senior, Bob was the winner of the annual Athletic Cup Award in 1961, and also served as a student government representative to State Representative Carlton Bliss.
Upon graduation, he attended Hillsdale (Michigan) College for two years and was a member of the school's football team. He completed his undergraduate education at Bridgewater State College, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in social studies.
With that educational, athletic, and community involvement foundation in place, "Guth" began a 36-year career as a history teacher at NAHS, where he also served frequently as a class advisor and was twice honored by the graduating class with dedications of the Northern Light Yearbook (1970 and 1988).
It was through his efforts outside the classroom, though, that he made his most influential impact on our community. First, in addition to his teaching work, he began coaching the Red Rocketeer freshman football squad in 1966, followed by a stint as a varsity assistant. Then, in 1968 Guth took the helm as the head coach of the varsity program that had gone winless the year before, convincing then Superintendent Vincent McGee that he had a plan to turn the program around.
By hiring childhood best friend Ray Beaupre as his trusted assistant, along with Tom Schmidt, Ken Pickering and Art Nunes, Coach Guthrie lead the Red Rocketeers to a Hockomock League championship and a 28-0 victory over Attleboro on Thanksgiving Day. This stunning success brought North Attleboro athletics back into prominence, stemmed the tied of North student-athletes opting for nearby Bishop Feehan, and built from the ground up what has grown to become one of the pre-eminent athletic programs in all of Massachusetts as well as a prominent source of community pride.
During Bob's tenure from 1968 to 1975, he instilled the philosophies and high expectations that define the program today and literally put "Big Red" football on the map with three Hockomock League titles and two state championships in 1973 and 1974. Coach Guthrie also served two successful stints as head varsity baseball coach in addition to a brief tenure as girls indoor track mentor and boys cross country coach.
Beyond his work at NAHS in the classroom and on the playing field, Bob is also known to generations of North Attleboro children as a near permanent fixture at the beloved World War II Memorial Pool, where he has not only help provide a safe and fun summer environment, but also has served as mentor to countless young folks who worked there under his guidance each summer for the last 40-plus years.
When chronicling the people, institutions, and traditions that make North Attleboro a special place, no list is complete without the name Robert "Bob" Guthrie. For that we honor him with the 2012 NAHS Alumni Association Community Impact Award.
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