Bruce Harrison has been a championship coach and a champion for Chelsea’s youth since his days in the Chelsea Youth Basketball League at the old Chelsea High gymnasium on Clark Avenue.
For the past 12 years, Harrison has been a group leader at the Chelsea REACH after-school program led by Executive Director Linda Alioto-Robinson.
“We help students to stay in school, graduate, go to college or trade school, or get a job,” said the 57-year-old Harrison, a 1981 CHS graduate, the father of three children and grandfather of two.
Harrison announced this week that he will be leaving REACH to take a position in the Chelsea school system.
“I’m going to be working in school security,” he related. “I’m sad about leaving. I like the REACH program and helping kids. But I’m doing it for my family.”
Robinson-Alioto said that Harrison was a valuable member of the REACH staff.
“We’re going to miss Bruce a lot – he’s the best group leader ever,” lauded Robinson-Alioto. “But we’re all happy for him for his new job. It’s a full-time position and he’s a father and a husband and you need a full-time job. REACH was just part time, so we’re happy for him and we’re happy that he’ll still be in Chelsea.”
Harrison was busy with REACH Monday running the annual Lemonade Stand fundraiser at the Stop & Shop store. Proceeds went to REACH and the St. Luke’s Church Food Pantry. Sean O’Regan and his brother, James O’Regan Jr. donated the supplies for the lemonade stand.
Harrison has coached in the Chelsea Youth Basketball League for many years. He led the Bucks team to multiple championships alongside assistant coach Leo Robinson. Many observers felt that “Brucie” was at the top of the list of legendary coaches of the 1980s that included Larry Notkin, Steve Selbovitz, Gerry Godin, Ronald Robinson, Mark Zamansky, Steve Fried, and Dave Drinan.
Harrison was honored at an event earlier this year as the Boston Boys and Girls Club “Volunteer of the Year” for his coaching efforts at the Jordan Boys and Girls Club (JGBC), Chelsea.
Josh Kraft, CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston and the former executive director of the JGBC, made the presentation to Harrison at the ceremony held at Fenway Park.