-By Cary Shuman
Tony Fucillo will be inducted into the Massachusetts State Football Coaches Hall of Fame at an awards dinner Saturday at Lantanaâ€™s in Randolph.
Fucillo was the head coach of the Winthrop High football team for 20 seasons and assistant coach for 15 seasons. Fucillo capped off his successful tenure with an undefeated season and Super Bowl title in 2006. His son, James, was the quarterback of that team, having carried on the All-Scholastic signal calling tradition of his brother Anthony, a graduate of Tufts University who is now playing professional football in Denmark. Fucilloâ€™s daughter, Jennie, was a track standout at Winthrop High.
Fucillo accepted the news of his Hall of Fame honor in typically unassuming fashion.
â€œItâ€™s just quite an honor and Iâ€™m very humbled, but Iâ€™m also very proud be able to place my name in the same Hall as Edward MacFarland, who was my high school coach and whom I idolized, and Bob DeFelice who was my mentor,â€ said Fucillo.
Fucillo, who has returned to the sidelines as an assistant coach at Tufts University, graduated from Winthrop High in 1967. He played prep school football at Worcester Academy and college football at Xavier University of Ohio.
During his tenure at Winthrop, Fucillo wasÂ regarded as one of the best high school coaches in Massachusetts. His teams were always well prepared and several of Fucilloâ€™s players went on to compete in college and serve as captains of their teams. When you list the true greats of high school football coaching, Fucilloâ€™s name deservedly stands alongside such legends as Armond Colombo (Brockton), John DiBiaso (Everett), Bob DeFelice (Winthrop) and the late Stan Bondelevitch (Swampscott).
Fucillo said he enjoyed his years as a coach in Winthrop.
â€œNobody had it better than Tony Fucillo,â€ he said. â€œAnd it was all because of my players and the assistant coaches that I worked with â€“ the administration and as always the great community of Winthrop.â€
One of those superb assistant coaches was Fucilloâ€™s brother, Richard, who will join family members and coaching colleagues at the induction ceremony to celebrate officially what Winthrop football fans have known for a long time: Tony Fucillo was a Hall of Fame coach in every sense of the term.