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Massasoit Community College in Brockton dedicated its baseball complex to longtime coach Thomas Frizzell, who retired after the 2018 season.

About 60 people — including Frizzell and his extended family — attended the Sept. 14 ceremony on the college campus.

“For 28 seasons, Thomas Frizzell and Massasoit Community College baseball were synonymous,” stated a press release about the event. “[He was] a Hall of Fame coach, gifted professor and a mentor to students and athletes alike.”

Frizzell started as an assistant coach in 1988, became head coach in 1991, and led the Warriors to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division 2 World Series title two years later.

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He led the Warrior baseball team to 724 wins (and 360 losses), eight Region XXI Championships, five New England District Championships, and to the NJCAA World Series five times.

He was inducted into the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Massasoit Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017.

Frizzell still teaches in the college’s business department, but left coaching for health reasons.

He has used a wheelchair since the late 1970s, when he was paralyzed at age 27 after a concrete wall collapsed on him at the new Brockton elementary school where he was assistant principal. He prided himself on being seen as a coach, not a coach in a wheelchair. But he said his coaching career taught his teams to be more comfortable with people with disabilities, and more empathetic.

“In life, you really have two options,” Frizzell said in a phone interview last week. “You can play, or you can quit. I like to think I’m an example of someone who didn’t quit.”


Johanna Seltz can be reached at seltzjohanna@gmail.com