Skip to main content

The Yankee Express

Brad Smith, BHS legend

May 12, 2021 10:41AM ● By Peter Coyle
The recent passing of Brad Smith, a great friend to many and the ultimate teammate, who had an easy sense of humor, has saddened all who knew him. 
Brad lived his life to the fullest and enjoyed any and all opportunities to compete and he excelled on the biggest stages as a Bartlett athlete. 
He accomplished more championships-six-than any other athlete in the history of Bartlett athletics. 
This space is challenging any athlete statewide ever to match Brad’s six biggest stage championships. More on that later. 
Brad’s Bartlett High School athletic resumé has appeared in this space many, many times over the past 35 years as the all time bench- mark of exactly what a teammate, leader, and winner should be. 
The spirit of the Bartlett Athletic Hall of Fame never recognized their six highest and ultimate accomplishments from 1979 through 1981, with the individual common denominator being Brad Smith, until 2018. Brad was a great teammate and leader on all his Indian basketball teams and expressed many times that it was all about his teammates and timing. 
Brad was proud to wear that Bartlett uniform and put it on in front of so many venues across the state in six championship games. Brad was one the best advertisers that Bartlett could have ever hoped for. Nobody ever advertised the green Bartlett uniform on the biggest of biggest stages more than Brad Smith during his years at Bartlett from 1978 to 1981. No Bartlett graduate has ever accomplished what Brad Smith accomplished as a starter and a statistical leader during these milestones. 
Basketball State Champion 1979, Clark Tournament Champion 1979, 1980, and 1981, and Basketball District Champion 1979 and 1981. Six for six. Perfect. That’s six championships of the highest level of competition that Bartlett could ever qualify for. 
No Bartlett student athlete in the history of Bartlett High School ever did what Brad Smith did as a starter on all these six championship teams. 
Let’s keep in mind that Brad didn’t get inducted in the prestigious Bartlett Hall of Fame as an individual athlete until 2018, but he was most proud of the 1979 state championship team being inducted in 2002. The 1978-79 basketball team coached by Bob Paranto was inducted 2002. 
Brad’s additional accomplishments were Telegram and Gazette Super Team member, Border Conference All Star, member of the prestigious Best of 48 state-wide All Star game, and a member of the 10 best Central Mass team of basketball players. 
Brad averaged 26 points his senior year and was a 1,000 point career scorer and played on a border conference championship team in basketball. Adding the border conference championship team totals Brad’s championships to seven overall. But, those six championships on the highest of highest stages will never be duplicated again at Bartlett. 
Brad also started at shortstop in baseball a couple of years for the Indians. 
He went on to start in basketball at Southeastern Mass University for three years.
 Brad’s brother Bruce has been on the waiting list on the Bartlett High School Athletic Hall of Fame committee’s table for a long time and Bruce’s athletic achievements as an Indian include being a three sport starter for three years and he excelled in football as a tightend and linebacker where he earned a full scholarship to Division One Northeastern. Bruce played on a Class B Central Mass Championship team for coach Joe Lucido and scored 988 career points in basketball. The Smith brothers should have been in the Bartlett Hall of Fame a long time ago and imagine if they went in together… No, that would have made too much sense. 
Thank you, Brad Smith, for spreading your good will smile to all whom you considered friends and we know you are looking down at your brother Bruce who deserves a place at the Bartlett Hall of Fame table.
Peter Coyle