Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

May 23, 2013

A storybook title to remember

Doucette recalls UMass Lowell's national championship

(Continued)

“That was before 10,000 fans in Alabama,” Doucette recalled. “It was amazing.”

At the Final Four in Springfield, Lowell beat top-ranked Florida Southern, which had beaten four Div. 1 schools that year, and then Alaska Anchorage in the national title game.

Doucette later continued his successful coaching career at Div. 1 UNC-Asheville, S.W. Missouri State and Chaminade University in Hawaii before becoming an athletic director at Hamilton-Wenham.

He laughs when he recalls a question from a radio guy about Lowell repeating the next year.

“People don’t understand that that was a storybook season,” said Doucette. “To do it took a heck of a lot of overachievement.”

One of the best parts of the title was that Doucette’s two key pieces were local players — Bobby Licare of North Andover and Leo Parent of Lowell, both of whom played at Central Catholic.

“I think people forget how well-rounded Leo was,” Doucette said. “He truly was the definition of a team player. He could have scored a ton more points, but he played in a system to maximize team production. He was a 6-foot-6 post player for us that had the ability and did shoot the 3-point shot. But he was committed to sacrifice what was necessary for a team to reach their maximum potential.

“As for Bobby, we were the only school that offered him a full scholarship. Dick Licare is one of my closest friends. I have known the entire family for a long time and knew Bobby’s value. Bobby went to the foul line with two free throws to clinch a national championship. Normally, I’m a glass-is-half-empty kind of coach. But I was relaxed and confident ... He completed every kid’s dream with game on the line and the ball in his hand.”

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Bill Burt is executive sports editor of The Eagle-Tribune and columnist for the Andover Townsman. You can contact him at bburt@eagletribune.com.

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