If he could have written the script himself, the Falmouth High School boys’ ice hockey team would have gone all the way to the state championship and won at The Garden this year. If that couldn’t happen, Buddy Ferreira was pleased that the final time he coached the Clippers was last night against his biggest rival, Barnstable High School.
The longtime coach of the Clippers, who has been on the bench since 1980, said after his team’s 4-2 loss to the Red Raiders in the first round of the state tournament last night at Gallo Ice Arena, that he is stepping down after 33 years on the job. The coach waited until the end of the game to inform his players and the press, but he said he’s known for a little while now that it is time to “let someone else” do the job.
Ferreira, who is a member of the Falmouth High Hall of Fame, both as a player and as a coach for the Clippers, is the winningest coach in Cape Cod high school history. He is also near the top of the list in Massachusetts. Over the course of his tenure, which has stretched through four decades, he’s amassed 441 victories against 192 losses, with 80 ties. FHS teams won 15 league championships under Ferreira, four regional and four state championships, and one Super 8 berth.
The coach, who will turn 70 this week, said that he just feels that the time is right. “It’s not that I want to, it’s that it’s time to,” he said. He had originally planned on making last year his final season, but then reconsidered and decided for one more season on the ice. “If the new rink hadn’t been there, I would have left last year, but I wanted to get one year in that new rink, and I’ve had a lot of these kids since they were freshmen, and I wanted to be with them,” he said.
BUDDY FERREIRA'S 33 YEAR CAREER
15 League Championships
4 Regional Championships
4 State Championships
With his team giving an effort he was very proud of, rallying from 3-0 down to within a goal late in the third period, he said that he exits the stage feeling great about what his team was able to do.
“For me to go out, with them playing this hard, and I didn’t want to tell them until after, and to go out against the team that we respect more than anybody else, Barnstable, is just a great way for our seniors to go out, and for myself to go out. I’m just so proud of my kids...we came to play and you can walk out of here knowing that you did everything you could to win that game, and as a parent and as a coach, that’s something that you can be proud of.”
The coach said that he hopes that the team will continue its successful run with his staff remaining in place. He said his wishes are for assistant coach Paul Moore to move into the head coach’s role going forward, but Falmouth High’s administration will have to approve of that. “Paul Moore was on my 1980 team, he was my captain, he’s been with me, and the other one is Paul’s assistant, my son Billy, so they’ll be in good hands. They’re both young, and they can relate better,” Ferreira said.