Former WA basketball coach to present scholarships



The 1968 WA basketball team

John Vassilou, Staff Writer

The assistant coach to WA’s 1968 championship basketball team, Pete Gaudet, has been working with the WA community and former WA athletes to put together a scholarship fund for students of the class of 2018. He will be presenting the scholarship funds in person to two seniors on May 31st at WA.

Gaudet had recently come into contact with former members of the WA basketball team and have worked with them to contribute to a scholarship fund for two students yet to be named in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the 1968 win. At first beginning as a small fund, contributions quickly funneled in.

“There was this kid who was a center on the team that I had, and he said ‘can I contribute to that scholarship’ and I said yeah I’d love to have you, it wasn’t like we asked him to, we just told him what was going on,” Gaudet said.

Gaudet said that this spirit is shared through the Westford community through the forms of family friendship and teamwork. Other former WA athletes have also reached out, such as one who is currently coaching women’s basketball in New Hampshire, and was eager to contribute.

“We wondered if we could get seven or eight hundred dollars but all of a sudden we have a couple thousand to give to kids that the committee has chosen to be worthy of the scholarship,” Gaudet said.

Gaudet was a former English teacher who also coached at WA from 1966 to 1970. He began his basketball coaching career at a private high school near Boston in the early 60’s where he volunteered while was attending Boston University.

He first came to WA in the middle of 1966 after he graduated college.

“I came right out of college and it was fairly intimidating for me because I replaced a teacher who was the most experienced [English] teacher in the department,” Gaudet said.

From there, Gaudet became increasingly involved in WA basketball. In 1967 he began coaching on the JV team, and in 1968 became the assistant varsity basketball coach under Tom Gallagher. That year, WA went on to take home the state championship, and became class D state champs.

After WA, Gaudet went on to coach basketball at various universities such as Bentley, Dartmouth, West Point, Duke, and Vanderbilt, before finally retiring from coaching in 2002.

Gaudet is proud of the scholarship and the cause it is going towards, and he sees it as a way to remember the former basketball team.

“I’ll tell you, this thing we are doing now with this scholarship, is pretty darn good to honor this team,” Gaudet said.