William T. Hart, age 72, of Tiverton, RI, passed away on Monday, October 22, 2018 in the comfort of his home with his family by his side. Born in Fall River, MA to the late Robert T. Hart and Catherine V. (Coughlin) Hart, he was the beloved husband of Pauline (Lavoie) Hart, to whom he was married to for 48 years. His survivors include his two daughters, Martha Hart Reed and her husband Benjamin of Warren, RI and Amy Hart Almeida and her husband James of New Bedford, MA; two brothers, Brian and Robert, and a sister Maureen Hart Bettencourt.
William was inducted into the first class of the Bishop Stang High School Athletics Hall of Fame. Throughout his career at BSHS as student/coach/teacher/Athletic Director he lived and breathed the mission of the school as well as that of the athletic program-“Character-building, academic excellence priorities and teaching the importance of good sportsmanship.” He began his association with BSHS as a student athlete from 1960-63 where he played defensive and offensive tackle for the football team and was part of the 1962 Bristol County League Championship Spartans.
He was a coach from 1965-1989 for various sports including Football, Girls’ Basketball, Golf, Tennis- basically any sport where he was needed to step in. His most notable accomplishment as a Coach was during his tenure with the Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team from 1972-1981. Under his direction in this 9-year period the Lady Spartans won 3 State Championships and had 5 second place finishes. The overall team record during this time was 132-33. These teams also won various invitational tournaments including the Class A and Class B Catholic Tournaments. From 1972-1981 the Lady Spartans qualified for the State Tournament 8 of 9 years. Based on his accomplishments with the Lady Spartans he spent one season part-time as Assistant Coach of the Bridgewater State College Girls Basketball team who were ranked #4 nationally at that time (1982/1983).
In 1983 he became Assistant Athletic Director under John O’Brien and in 1985 he was appointed as Athletic Director and eventually served in the role as AD for 25 years supporting the mission to develop student-athletes. Of his many accomplishments as AD he started with reorganizing the budget to bring the athletic program into more modern times. He also understood the need to foster the development of athletic programs that afforded girls the same opportunity and access to team play as boys. He met the challenge when interests in additional sports arose to include swimming, boys’ ice hockey, lacrosse and sailing.
In 1990 Stang was one of 7 founding schools for the Eastern Athletic Conference where he served as a member and as the first Secretary-Treasurer until 2016. During his term as AD at Stang he was selected as the MIAA AD of the year.
To meet the need of the expanding athletic department/budget he proposed and became the Member-In-Charge for the Spartan Athletic Boosters Club Bingo on Saturday nights and some years later he took on the additional role as Member-In-Charge for Monday night bingo. To help with additional scholarship funds and thus began the Sunday afternoon bingo at Stang. Bingo revenues had a major impact on athletic and school budget needs. BSHS bingos were also considered some of the top bingo programs in the state of Massachusetts and the first to hold a super-bingo in the Southcoast area. His reputation in this capacity led him to be asked to be a guest caller for the State’s involvement with the Troy Brown Celebrity Bingo in 2005 and 2006 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA.
His Funeral will be held on Friday, October 26th at 10:30 AM from the Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, 495 Park St., New Bedford, followed by his Funeral Mass at 11:30 AM at St. Julie Billiart Church. Visiting hours will be on Thursday, October 25th from 3-7 PM. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Visiting Nurse Home & Hospice, 1184 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871.