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Holbrook’s Rich Gifford becomes 29th coach in Massachusetts high school basketball history with 500 wins

Holbrook coach Rich Gifford celebrated his milestone win with his team.Tyler Amaral

HOLBROOK — Holbrook coach Rich Gifford added another milestone victory to his historic coaching career, notching his 500th career victory in a 68-41 win over Boston Collegiate Charter.

Gifford becomes the 29th coach in Massachusetts high school basketball history to record 500 career victories. Gifford joins Clinton boys coach Steve Manguso as coaches to reach the milestone this season.

“[Winning 500 games] is unbelievable,” Gifford said. “I thought 400 [wins] was big.”

Gifford, winner of four Division 4 state championships at Avon, attributes the success to his players at Avon and Holbrook.

“Great players and great kids” he said.


The Weymouth native is in his 33rd season as a high school head coach. He’s spent nearly 50 years on the sidelines in total. In addition to his four state titles, Gifford won six South Sectional championship at Avon and led Holbrook to the Division 5 semifinals last year.

“I coached professionally in Costa Rica for four years before [Avon],” said Gifford. “I’ll be 70 on April 1 so I’ve been doing it for almost 50 years.”

Holbrook’s first crack at getting the milestone victory came Friday night in a 78-68 loss to Latin Academy.

Now Gifford’s team can focus on playing basketball without the added pressure of trying to etch their coach’s name in basketball lore.

“Friday night was tough on [the players],” said Gifford. “Now we can go play basketball and maybe make a run like we did last year.”

On Monday, Holbrook (13-5) relentlessly attacked Boston Collegiate ball handlers and quickly jumped out to a 13-0 lead. By the end of the first quarter, they were up 30-4.

Holbrook continued its dominance in the second quarter, extending its lead to 47-12 at the intermission.

Holbrook used the final two quarters to get younger players some game action.


13 players scored for the Bulldogs, led by seniors Armani Perkins (14 points) and Cam Campbell (12 points).

“He’s such a good coach and this is a great feeling,” said Perkins, Gifford’s latest 1,000-point scorer. “It was nerve-wracking, just experiencing everything with the loss and then coming in today and really wanting to get this win to secure coach’s legacy.”