By Collin Atwood
Not many coaches can say they have coached one team for over 35 years. That sort of longevity can only be the result of tremendous success. While Keith Bugbee is no stranger to winning, the connections he has made along the way are just as important, if not more.
As a result of Bugbee’s leadership, dedication, and family-oriented mindset, Springfield College alumni are raising funds to build the Bugbee Family Pavilion at Amos Alonzo Stagg Field.
Bugbee has been the head coach of the men’s lacrosse team at Springfield College since 1984. Over that time he has made an impact on the college and the student-athletes that have come his way.
“Coach has always said I have two families, my family at my home and the Springfield College lacrosse family,” said Craig Poisson, Executive Director of Athletics at Springfield College.
On July 4, 2018 Bugbee’s oldest daughter, Lindsay Crosby Bugbee, tragically passed away. Lindsay graduated from Springfield College in 2008 and was a member of the women’s lacrosse and women’s soccer team.
There is nothing more important than family after losing a loved one. Luckily for Bugbee, he didn’t just have his family at home, but he was also able to lean on his family on Alden street. Family is a huge part of Bugbee’s life which is why the choice was made to include “family” in the name of his pavilion.
“I think he’s deeply appreciative of the fact that the word ‘family’ is on there because that’s how he’s lived,” Poisson said.
Bugbee has been able to make connections with many people at Springfield College over the years. As a coach and a professor at the College, there aren’t too many people who have not crossed paths with him. Bugbee also met people through the camp he ran at the College called Peak Lacrosse Camps. There, he was a mentor to young lacrosse players and coaches.
Donations will mostly consist of past lacrosse players who were impacted by Bugbee, but he has reached many people off the field as well.
In the 38 seasons that Bugbee has been a coach at Springfield College, he has won 12 straight conference championships in the past 13 seasons and won the NCAA Div. II National Championship in 1994.
He has also earned a spot in the New England Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2002, and was named the No. 3 Greatest Coach in New England collegiate lacrosse history in the New England Lacrosse Journal’s “New England’s Greatest Coaches” series.
Between his success on the field and his role in the lives of others, there is no doubt that Bugbee is more than deserving of this honor.
The Bugbee Family Pavilion will hold multiple purposes that relate to coaching, teaching and other activities. “It’s going to have the ability to be adaptable for different uses,” Poisson said.
The pavilion will be available during games at Stagg Field for friends and family to spectate as well as a spot for people to tailgate after a game. It can also be used for team meetings and film sessions with its up-to-date technology.
Outside of athletics, the building will also be used as a classroom. “The fact that this structure is going to be a classroom ties so nicely into the teacher-coach model that we have here,” Poisson said.
Donors who donate at least $2,500, which can be paid over two years, will land a spot on the Leadership Wall that will be in the pavilion.
If Keith Bugbee has ever positively impacted you, or you just want to show your gratitude for the hard work he has done in building the lacrosse program to what it is today then you should consider donating.
The goal is to reach $1,500,000, and once that goal is achieved, the construction will begin.
“When the funds come in from the donors is when the shovel will go in the ground,” Poisson said.
Contact Jim Bates in the Office of Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-748-3176 to make your donation.