Bacon Academy

At Bacon Academy, Basketball is a Family Affair

NBCUniversal, Inc.

When you think about the history of women's basketball in Connecticut, you think UConn and Geno Auriemma, but on the court at Bacon Academy, there's a name that spans three generations, over 50 years, and is still going strong.

It's been more than 50 years since Dave Shea first took on a coaching role at Bacon Academy in Colchester.

“Well, I started coaching the boys in 1962-63,” said Shea.

That's much longer than Shea ever expected when he graduated from Bacon Academy in 1952.

“Some of my teachers told me that if I didn't buckle down in class, I wouldn't go very far,” said Shea, who now has 778 wins and three state titles in 48 seasons of coaching between the boys' and girls' teams.

“I guess if you want to continue in the business you have to win a few games along the way,” Shea said.

He’s now coached the girls' team for the past 25 seasons.

But in his 26th season, those wins will be going to a different Shea.

Two weeks before the start of the season, Dave Shea learned he needed to get a pacemaker to help his heart, so he called on his son John to help his team.

”He might've stayed away for a couple of days,” said the younger Shea. “Then he started creeping back in.”

Because there was still one more Shea that he didn’t want to miss: his granddaughter, Caitlin, is a senior on the team.

"Just sometimes when she gets announced: ‘Caitlin Shea, welcome to Dave Shea Gymnasium’ and the assistant coach is John Shea or whatever, it's like wait a minute,” said John Shea.

”It's nice to be able to coach your own grandchildren and children,” said Dave Shea. He even won one of his state titles with his other granddaughter, Katie Mahoney, in 2009.

"It's just nothing but fun to come play basketball here every day with my daughter and my dad,” said John. This season he’s led the Bobcats to an undefeated 8-0 record so far.

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