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November 20, 2013

Lasting Legacy: Peabody's Heil to be inducted into MCBA Hall of Fame

(Continued)

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Heil will be honored along with two other coaches: Jim Grant from Nipmuc Regional High School and Bromfield High’s Tom Hill.

“Nominations for potential Hall of Fame candidates may come from any coach/individual and the MBCA executive board reviews all applications and votes each year to choose three deserving candidates,” said MBCA Hall of Fame Banquet Chairman, Jim Reynolds.

“An automatic induction into the MBCA Hall of Fame occurs when a coach reaches a 500-win milestone in their career. Coincidentally, all three of our inductees this year qualified by attaining the 500-win milestone during last year’s basketball season.”

Heil found out about the MBCA honor this past summer. She was at the airport in Illinois waiting for her delayed flight home. Her husband, Bob, who has been by her side as her assistant coach for many years, phoned her with the good news.

“They sent a letter to my house and Bob had opened it,” explained Heil. “I kept asking if he was sure he was reading the right thing.

“I was completely taken aback by it. I thought it was a possibility at some point after I retired, but I was really flattered and honored that it happened at this particular time in my career.”

Heil’s 500th win came against Everett last season, one in wich she made her 27th state tournament appearance with the Tanners. Through the years her teams have won 17 Greater Boston League titles and captured one very significant Division 1 state championship in 1985.

“I got thinking about (Red Sox outfielder) Shane Victorino’s interview after his monster home run during the World Series (this fall),” said Heil. “He said all he ever wanted was the ‘opportunity’: the opportunity to wear the uniform, the opportunity to bat, the opportunity to contribute in any way he could because he felt he could make a difference.

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