By Jim Fenton
The Brockton native coached his 1,000th game at his alma mater last weekend, becoming just the third active coach in the East Region to reach that number.
The number was so far away when he began coaching the Stonehill College baseball team in 1998.
Brockton native Patrick Boen never considered the possibility of eventually coaching 1,000 games with the program back then.
"That seemed like a really high number,″ said Boen, whose debut was a 10-1 loss to Bloomsburg in Florida. "In baseball, you do play a lot of games in a season, but that does seem like a number I don't think I would have expected to reach.″
Now in his 22nd season, Boen did indeed achieve that number last Saturday afternoon, coaching the 1,000th game of his career in the nightcap of a Stonehill doubleheader against Southern Connecticut State University at Lou Gorman Field.
Boen, a two-sport athlete at Stonehill before graduating in 1989, became only the third active Division 2 coach in the East Region to reach 1,000 games. He joins Bentley University's Bob DeFelice (1,770 games in 51 seasons) and Rick Giannetti of Dominican College (1,433 games in 30 seasons).
Former players either were on hand for the occasion over the weekend or sent messages to their coach, congratulating him on the milestone.
"You really just think about all the guys that you've had on the team,″ said Boen. "It was great this weekend. I probably saw 25 or 30 alumni come back and watched the games and others sent me messages. That's what really hits you is the impact on the players you've had over the years.″
Boen was a point guard on the Stonehill men's basketball team and played shortstop on the baseball team from 1986-89 after helping Brockton High School win the 1985 Division 1 state title in basketball.
Nine years after graduating from Stonehill, he was in charge of the baseball team starting in '98. By 2000, Stonehill had won the Northeast-10 Conference and made it to NCAA tournament, finishing with 34 wins.
The Skyhawks also appeared in the NCAAs in 2010 and 2015 and have gone 563-435-4 under Boen, whose team is home Wednesday afternoon against Assumption College in the 1,003rd game of his career.
"When I took over, (former director of athletics) Paula Sullivan wanted me to kind of right the ship a little bit,″ said Boen. "My biggest thing was to get good players, but get good kids and do it the right way, try and show them some direction, and I think I've accomplished that.
"I think the program's in a better place than what it was when we started. The players we've had are just great kids. They've really made a difference not only here at Stonehill but after they graduated and gotten out into the community.″
Under Boen, the Skyhawks have had two players drafted, something that had never happened before. Brenden Shepard went to the Red Sox in the 28th round in 2011 and Jimmy Duff was chosen by the New York Mets in the 20th round in 2014.
"That was an exciting time,″ said Boen. "One of my goals was to always have a Stonehill baseball player drafted and that happened. My other goal is to make it to the World Series. We've been one game away a couple of times. That's our next goal.″
When Boen coached his 1,000th game, he was joined on the Skyhawks bench by Lou Coletti, who is in his first year as a Stonehill assistant after being in that same role at Bridgewater State University from 1997-2018.
Colitti was the head coach at Stonehill from 1974-94 and Boen was a four-year player for him during the 1980s.
"That was really great,″ said Boen of having Colitti alongside. "He's just such a knowledgeable baseball guy. I was a basketball player first, I guess, but then I played baseball because of people like him.
"To play for Lou was a great honor for me because he taught me not only how to approach the game but how to treat people. He's just a great guy and a great baseball guy. I'm very happy that he's back with us and he was there for that game.″
The Skyhawks are 14-17 and 5-6 in the NE-10 this season.
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