Legendary former Brockton (Mass.) football coach Armond Colombo, architect of arguably New England’s greatest football dynasty, passed away early Sunday morning, according to a report from the Boston Herald.
Colombo, 87, coached the Boxers from 1969-2002 and oversaw one of the most dominant stretches by a team ever in the history of Massachusetts. Four times in the 1980’s, the Boxers finished ranked in USA TODAY’s Final Super 25 of the season. That includes the 1987 season when they finished No. 5 overall, and the famed 1988 season when they reached No. 1 in the nation before falling to rival Leominster (Mass.) in what is often considered the greatest upset in state history.
Over his time at Brockton, the Boxers won a record nine MIAA Division 1 Super Bowl titles and graduated a number of players who went on to the NFL, including Greg McMurtry, Rudy Harris and Ken McAfee, the latter of whom finished third in Heisman Trophy voting in 1977.
Colombo retired in 2002 as the state’s all-time leader in wins (324), a record that stood for a decade before it was broken by Northbridge’s Ken LaChapelle in 2014.
Colombo was also the brother-in-law of the legendary boxer Rocky Marciano, who along with fellow Brockton native Marvin Hagler is considered one of the sport’s greatest ever.
“He’s the greatest football coach in state history,” one of Colombo’s chief rivals, former Xaverian Brothers (Westwood, Mass.) coach Charlie Stevenson, told the Boston Herald. “Brockton had great teams and great players and could play with anyone in the country back in the day, and that was largely because of Armond.”