Gym Full of Past Players, Current Coaches and Staff Attend Farewell Celebration
The UMass Boston Beacons celebrated a 95-79 win over Western Connecticut State University on Saturday afternoon in the Clark Convocation and Athletic Center, but it was really Coach Charlie Titus’s day.
Titus, who is retiring at the end of the season, was honored following his last regular season game with two game balls, and proclamations presented by State Representative Nick Collins and Boston City Councilman Charles Yancey, the latter who called Saturday, February 21 Charlie Titus Day.
A Dorchester native who grew up next to the Columbia Point campus, Titus co-founded the men’s basketball program in 1974, which, at the time, was a club sport. Titus is also a founding father of the league UMass Boston is now a part of – the Little East Conference – and is a member of both the university and conference’s halls of fame.
“Charlie took the opportunity to coach, and he did something special with it,” Chancellor J. Keith Motley told the crowd of supporters in the gym.
When Motley asked those who had been touched by Titus as young people to stand, more than half of the gym stood up.
“For me, it’s been a tremendous journey. I see so many of you in this audience who played such an important part. I see a thousand point scorers sitting in the audience. For me, this journey has been so real and so good because of all of you participating,” Titus said, giving credit to his staff.
The crowd broke into chants of “Charlie, Charlie!” and current and former players, coaches, and athletic staff joined Titus on the floor, along with Titus’s coach growing up, Joe Murphy. Although Titus is retiring as coach, he will continue in his role at UMass Boston as the vice chancellor of athletics and recreation, special programs and projects.
Sherika Alford ’00, a sociology and theatre arts major who was a member of the women’s basketball team, presented Titus with flowers on behalf of the Alumni Association.
“This is an amazing occasion, so I definitely wanted to witness it,” Alford said.
“We all know that Coach Titus touched all of our lives,” senior co-captain Carl Joseph said before presenting Titus with a game ball featuring a picture of this year’s team.
It was clear that Titus was equally as proud of his current and former players.
“There are coaches in here, there are vice principals in here, there are educators in here, there are business people in here, there are police officers in here, firemen. I want you all to know, I am so proud of what you all do and the contributions that you’re making to our community and our society,” Titus said.
Titus will get to coach at least one more game, as the men’s team will travel to UMass Dartmouth on Tuesday for the Little East Conference tournament.
About UMass Boston
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 17,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit www.umb.edu.