Former Watertown Track Coach to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Former Watertown High School Cross Country Coach Tom Wittenhagen will be honored with the MSTCA Lifetime Achievement Award this spring. He retired this year after 47 years coaching and teaching in town. He is shown here with James Piccirilli, left, and Emily Koufos after the 2016 All-State Cross Country Meet.

During his 47 years teaching and coaching in Watertown, Tom Wittenhagen impacted hundreds of students, and his commitment will be recognized by the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association.

“Coach Witt,” who retired during the last school year, received word recently that he will receive the 2019 MSTCA Lifetime Achievement Award. He was nominated by Hall of Fame coach Matt Carr.

“Mr. Wittenhagen is in the lofty company of James Kalperis, Bill Jennings, among other cross country and track legends in Massachusetts.He will be honored at our MSTCA Awards Banquet this Spring,” the MSTCA announcement said.

For nearly half a century, Wittenhagen either taught science or coached track in Watertown, or both at the same time.

“The MSTCA Lifetime Award validates my lifetime commitment to the students/athletes of Watertown,” Wittenhagen said. “After a very good track career at at Northeastern University I came to Watertown with a cock sure naïve attitude of future success in track and field under my guidance.”

He said coaching was time consuming, but also very rewarding.

“I am very proud of the accomplishments and successes of the teams and individuals I coached,” Wittenhagen said. “These successes include numerous top five team finishes in (MIAA) Div. 4 and 5 Track and Cross Country Championships. Individually Watertown has had many Divisional and State Champions.”

The list of championship athletes includes Emily Koufos in cross country; and Mange Camara, Nick Goodman, Austin Lin, Nathan Wilson-Braun, Ryan Quinn, Mark Parsekian and Elliott Fontaine in indoor and outdoor track.

For new coaches, Wittenhagen said that they should know “the rewards and satisfaction a coach gets are numerous.”

“From watching insecure freshman become confident mature seniors to getting to know their wonderful, supportive families,” Wittenhagen said. “I’ve had a wonderful time coaching for all these years and in retirement I can reflected on the great luck I had by being hired by Watertown back in 1972.”

Wittenhagen wil be honored at the MSTCA Awards Banquet in the spring.

3 thoughts on “Former Watertown Track Coach to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

  1. Congratulations to Coach Wittenhagen.
    Following in the footsteps of legendary track coach Bob Gleason, whose Watertown track teams were unmatched in the 50’s and 60’s, he has continued to build on the excellence of a great program !!!

  2. A more deserving recipient does not exist! Congratulations Tom! Well deserved. It was an honor to have worked with you.

  3. So happy to read the news. Coach Witt was an incredible asset for WHS over the years. His dedication to the program and his athletes is/has been second to none. A great coach, teacher, friend, and even better comedian. Go Witt!

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