By Cary Shuman
When public address announcer Josh Del Gaizo informed the crowd during the final seconds of the St. John’s Prep-Everett game Friday night that John DiBiaso had reached the 300-victory milestone, the fans in attendance responded with hearty applause.
The Everett High football team had put on a clinic in the Division 1 North playoff game against St. John’s, opening up a 28-point lead at the half and coasting to an 49-14 victory at Everett Memorial Stadium.
DiBiaso becomes the fourth coach in Massachusetts high school football history to earn 300 wins. DiBiaso has a record of 300-75-1 in his coaching positions at St. Patrick’s of Watertown, Weston, and Everett. His record at the helm of the Everett High program is an awe-inspiring 248-33 for an .883 winning percentage.
DiBiaso said he was grateful for the ovation from the fans following Del Gaizo’s announcement.
“It was very touching,” said DiBiaso. “I’m not like a bragadoccio guy. This is very humbling. The kids played fantastic tonight. I thank them.”
Supt. of Schools Frederick Foresteire led a brief ceremony in honor of DiBiaso after the game. The leader of the Everett schools had the words to fit the momentous occasion.
“Let me put it this way – he’s the greatest high school football coach of all time,” said Foresteire. “No one has reached 300 wins as fast as he’s done it. He is a legend in his own time, that’s what he is. He is Everett.”
Recognizing that they were part of something truly special in Mass. football history, reporters engulfed DiBiaso after the game. He told the assemblage: “I’ve been lucky enough to have the best superintendent [Frederick Foresteire] in the state of Massachusetts. I’ve got a great principal [Erick Naumann], great kids, and I’m lucky enough to work in my hometown, which is the best town in Massachusetts.
“It’s been an honor to be here for 26 years and 39 years as a teacher. I’ve got a wonderful wife, wonderful children, and I’m blessed,” he said.
That “wonderful wife,” Maureen DiBiaso lauded her husband on his accomplishment, stating, “I’m very proud of him.”
John DiBiaso has a reverence for the history of Everett High football, having grown up in the city and worn the Crimson Tide uniform before going on to Phillips Exeter and Tufts University.
“I’m just lucky to be a part of the history of Everett football, which dates back to 1892,” he said. “I’m lucky to be one of many successful coaches that walked through those gates of Everett Stadium. To be a part of that legacy is an honor. Not only because I coached on this field, but I played on this field in high school, and I came down here as a little kid. This is hallowed ground as Mr. Foresteire says. Everett Stadium, Cabot Street, Spring Street is hallowed ground. It couldn’t have happened at a better place, and I mean that. I rather have done it here than at Fenway Park or Gillette Stadium. I rather have done it here. I’ve spent most of my life here.”
Quarterback Jake Willcox, who will lead the Crimson Tide in to a dream matchup Friday night against Lexington High and quarterback Sal Frelick, was asked what it meant to the players to play for a legendary coach like John DiBiaso.
“It’s a real honor – he’s the greatest coach in high school football in the state of Massachusetts by far – ever,” said Willcox. “He’s a great coach, and he always great teams. He’s really good.”