Dick Walsh has been part of the ARHS community for 68 years as a coach, teacher, and volunteer. He will be celebrating his 90th birthday on Dec. 5. (Priya Maraliga)
Dick Walsh has been part of the ARHS community for 68 years as a coach, teacher, and volunteer. He will be celebrating his 90th birthday on Dec. 5.

Priya Maraliga

Q&A: Richard ‘Dick’ Walsh celebrates 90th birthday

Algonquin legend reflects on time at Algonquin as milestone birthday approaches

December 3, 2021

In honor of his 90th birthday on Dec. 5, Algonquin icon and mainstay Richard “Dick” Walsh reflected on his 68 years as a coach, teacher and volunteer at ARHS.

 

Richard Walsh as a physical education teacher, 1980. (Courtesy 1980 Yearbook)

How does it feel to turn 90?

“To me, it’s just another birthday. I know I will continue to get up every day at four in the morning and come here. I have always had some sort of ‘pattern’ for my days, like I did with coaching, which I like to stick to.”

 

How do you plan to celebrate your 90th birthday this weekend?

“I don’t like big parties. When I retired, my wife wanted to throw me a party, but I said, ‘You can have a party, but I won’t be there.’ Anyway, my four kids are going to try to come to my house, and we are just going to have a little celebration.”

 

You were a long-time physical education teacher, football and baseball coach and athletic director, and you have remained dedicated to Algonquin since your official retirement. What has kept you coming back to ARHS every day?

“I just love it here. I like the kids, the teachers and the facility. I always have to be doing something, so when I retired, I sat down with the superintendent and asked what I could do to still be involved here.”

 

Walsh with varsity football captain Paul Pisinski, 1960. (Courtesy 1960 Yearbook)

How has Algonquin changed over the years?

“I think that our school spirit and communication has changed the most. I don’t have a phone or computer, but I know those are a large part of school now in many aspects.”

 

What has stayed the same?

“I think the kids have stayed the same. Even though there are so many things happening in their lives, like being house-bound from COVID-19, they haven’t changed at all. I’ve actually been really pleased with the way they have been acting in the cafeteria, because as you know, I’m here every day. But, I think they handle everything going on in their lives very well.”

 

Walsh with two fellow coaches and varsity tri-captains, 1976. (Courtesy 1976 Yearbook)

What are some of your best memories as a teacher and a coach?

“The year we won the championship in football. That was the only undefeated team in the history of my time as a coach here, so it was a good moment to win that championship. I have so many memories, but that one definitely stands out because a lot of those kids on the team have come back to see me.”

 

How did it feel to have the football field and track dedicated to you?

“Like I said, when I retired, my wife wanted to have a big party for me. I didn’t want the party so I asked, ‘Instead of the party, how about a nice, new track?’ and we got it. So, they decided to name the field and track after me. Now, my next goal would be to get a turf field because we are one of the only schools that doesn’t have one.”

 

“Mr. Wallace, Mr. Walsh, Mr. Sullivan,” 1970. (Courtesy 1970 Yearbook)

What might students be surprised to learn about you?

“I went to high school in Boston, at Boston Latin School for all boys, where I took four languages. Every day, I took the [train to school] from where I lived in Dorchester, and I think I learned more on the train than I did in school. Coming from Dorchester to Northborough was a real shock, but I ended up loving it here.”

 

What are your hopes for Algonquin in the future?

“I hope we can keep bringing the school together. The students have gone through many changes these past few years, and it’s tough for the kids to keep up with. I would like to see some consistency because it will not only help the kids but the teachers too.”

 

Happy 90th birthday, Mr. Walsh! 

 

 

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  • S

    SANDRA S BURKEDec 5, 2021 at 7:52 am

    Happy birthday Mr Walsh Hope you have a wonderful day that lasts all year long from Sandra Sherman Burke and Paul Burke

    Reply
  • P

    Patrick SullivanDec 4, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    Happy Birthday 🎂 Mr Walsh!!!

    Reply
  • S

    Sue AbbotDec 3, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    Happy Birthday Mr. Walsh!
    You convinced me to try out as a cheerleader in 1973. Totally out of my comfort zone😂Got to go to Super Bowl! It was an awesome two years of my high school career!

    Reply
  • D

    debbie blood petrieDec 3, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    Happy Birthday Mr. Walsh!
    From the Blood Girls…. Debbie and Donna
    and Ted Blood too!

    Reply
  • R

    Robert S. WhitneyDec 3, 2021 at 3:49 pm

    Happy Birthday Coach!! R.S. Whitney , class of 1976.

    Reply
  • C

    Christy Waite, 1987Dec 3, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    Happy birthday!!!

    Reply
  • T

    TeresaDec 3, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    Happy 90th birthday Mr. Walsh. So happy to hear that you’re still at Algonquin. Wow, you really do love it there!
    Teresa Wiedergott-Wilson
    Class of 1977

    Reply
  • D

    Donna Bigelow SergiDec 3, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    Happy Birthday Mr. Walsh! When ever Algonquin is mentioned your name is always mentioned next. You have touched so many students and peers through the years. You are truly one of the best mentors students and staff could have. Thank you for all you have done for the students of Algonquin and your dedication through the years.
    You are truly the best.

    Reply
  • P

    Patt PoppleDec 3, 2021 at 2:38 pm

    Unbelievably loyal. The staff and students, old and young, have lots of wisdom to absorb! Dick, I worked in the media room next to the library from 1988 to about 2005. I remember how supportive you were of the student produced videos that were somewhat controversial .

    Reply
  • J

    Jim CooleyDec 3, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    Happy Birthday Mr. Walsh!

    Jim Cooley
    Class of 1995

    Reply
  • J

    John KendallDec 3, 2021 at 11:44 am

    Happy Birthday Mr. Walsh!

    John Kendall
    Class of 1975

    Reply
  • D

    Debbie SzretterDec 3, 2021 at 11:34 am

    Happy Birthday Coach Walsh! I remember you so well!! You used to give me “Indian burns” on my arms!!! Haha, Debbie Szretter

    Reply