LYNN — One of the longest and most successful head coaching stints in Lynn history came to a quiet conclusion Wednesday when Tom Grassa, who has been at the helm of the boys basketball program at Classical High School for 31 years, announced his retirement.
The job was immediately posted on the Lynn Public School website.
“He’s a coaching legend,” said Classical principal Gene Constantino, “as well as a friend. When I was still coaching (girls basketball), he was a great resource for me. I thought he did an excellent job at the school.”
Grassa’s teams won a combined 476 victories since he took over for Lou Falkoff for the 1985-1986 season. Included were back-to-back state championships in 1993 and 1994. Several other times, the Rams made it to the sectional finals, including last year, when they lost a heartbreaker to eventual state champion Brighton.
In his tenure as coach, Classical missed the state tournament only a handful of times.
“He has left a great legacy at our school,” said Constantino.
Grassa coached many of the city’s recent basketball stars, including Calvin Johnson, Marcos Echevarria, Nicio Echevarria, Louis Eaton, Jarell Byrd, Alvin Abreau, and his sons, Jasper and Nick Grassa.
Grassa confirmed Wednesday he’d retired as a head coach, but left the door open for future involvement with the program.
“I hope to get the opportunity to be involved in the future,” he said, “and if I get that opportunity, I will take it.”