Joe Gaff actually helped lead Dom Savio High School to two state championship in the 1982 sports year.
Gaff was first and foremost an All-Scholastic defensive end and offensive tackle on the 1982 Savio football team that went 11-0 and defeated Rockland, 14-12, in the Division 4 Super Bowl.
Savio’s airtight defense had allowed six points during the entire regular season, highlighted by a 2-0 victory over Don Bosco (Boston) on a sack of the quarterback in the end zone on the final play of the second game of the season.
Gaff also excelled in his role as a reserve junior forward on the Spartans’ 1982 basketball team that also captured a Division 2 state title with a dramatic victory over Wakefield. “John McCarrick hit two foul shots to beat Wakefield in overtime,” recalled Gaff.
Gaff, an Everett Police sergeant and the current Malden Catholic head football coach, attended the 1982 Savio football team’s 40th anniversary luncheon Sunday at Anthony’s in Malden.
Gaff vividly remembers the defensive unit’s phenomenal record of keeping opponents off the scoreboard each week. “Just to give up six points in the regular season and to give 12 to a great Rockland team, is pretty great.”
Gaff said he loved being in the company of his former Savio classmates and teammates. “My senior class at Savio was a very tight group,” said Gaff, noting that Jim Thistle of Everett was also a Savio classmate. “We get together every five years, and with this being our 40th anniversary, we invited the entire team, and we got a great response from everybody.”
Following his All-Scholastic career, Gaff played football at St. Francis Xavier University (Nova Scotia), where his team won a national championship. After college, Gaff continued his outstanding career for Ottawa in the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL), the minor league professional feeder system for the Canadian Football League (CFL). Gaff returned to Everett and was appointed to the Everett Police Department.
Gaff, 57, is the father of two sons, Chris, and Corey, a Massachusetts State trooper, who played college football at Plymouth State University. Joe also has two grandchildren.
Gaff began coaching high school football at Chelsea High School, leading the Red Devils to the Super Bowl title in the 1995 season.