Dear Mrs. Brophy (Miss Hepner), It is 2014 and I'm so sorry to have just learn of Mr. Brophy's death. I'm from the class of 1971 and for one year (one of your first at BHS), you were my home room teacher. I recall how kind and fun you were. Back in the day, my mother - Marie Cantin - was a church organist. And one day she came home from a wedding at St. John's church saying she just played organ at the wedding of 2 BHS teachers: Mr. Brophy and Miss Hepner. And hearing the news, I was so happy for you. I recall how so many people admired and respected both Jim and you. It was truly happy news to learn that you two, both such great individuals (teachers) at BHS, would get married. And today, though sad to learn of Jim's passing in 2005 - so young - (as well, my Mom passed in 2005), it is comfortng to learn that what seemed at the time like a match that would last, actually turned out to be so. Please accept my belated deep condolences. As well, I hope it a comfort for you to know that so many of us at BHS cared deeply about you and Jim; though we were probably too young & afraid at the time to have expressed it. Fondly...
I would like to send my deepest sympathies to the Brophy's Family. My freshman year I was looking for a way to stay out of the streets. Not knowing how to swim I joined Bull Frogs. That was the greatest thing I done with my life because Mr. B changed it and made me a better person. I still can see his smile when we won the CCC South my sophomore year that was the best feeling ever. I also remember when some of us joined the Golf team and he played with us. The last time I talked to him was on 10/23/2004 through E-mail and he told me "It is good news that you are doing so well, but then I was confident that you would. Thank you for your good wishes. Coach B." I will always remember you Mr. B and will always love you. The greatest coach ever!!
Juan Figueroa C/O 96
Mr. Brophy and I both arrived at Bulkeley High in 1966. Being a true 90 lb weakling, I was talked into joining the swim team and met coach Brophy for the first time. There's not enough space here or time for me to tell you how much he meant to me and how often I've thought of him over the years. He nick named me "rat" (as in water rat) and soon I was believing I could do anything I set my mind to. By my senior year I was co-captain of a not very talented swim team, but could not have been more proud. Mr. Brophy gave me that and I'll never forget him for it. Mrs. Brophy.....I remember when you were Ms. Hepner. God has blessed us all and we are far better for having known your husband. My deepest sympathy.
A special man indeed. Sincere condolences.
I was a team mate Jims at Wisconsin in the 60's and will always have wonderful memories of him. We moved back to CT. last year and Jim was one person I wanted to try to see. He will be rembered fondly by friends from UW: John and Judy Cloninger, Dave MacGregor, Bob Johnson and others. We all trained, competed and had fun together.
Graham McMillan UW '64
Judy and I just returned home from a visit to Connecticut. In a conversation with a teacher in the Simsbury school system, I was told about Jim's death. We extend our condolences to you and were very sad to hear about his passing. It only seems like yesterday that we began our teaching careers at the old Bulkely High School. I have many fond memories of this special man.
Dear Mrs. Brophy,
I'd like to offer my condolences and prayers to you and your family, and also to all the others whose lives he touched. I met your husband as a freshman at BHS in 1976. He was always so funny and I liked him so much that I wangled swimming as my P.E. assignment for most of the year. Looking back on my days at Bulkeley, I remember that so many members of his team were the guys everyone liked and respected. I'm sure some of their good qualities were helped along under your husband's devoted tutelage. This opinion is confirmed after having read some of the entries here.
I went through the toughest years without a real father as mine had died quite young and I wish now that I'd had more chances to spend time with someone like Mr. Brophy who was obviously a great influence on the countless young people he coached and taught. May he rest easy in the arms of the Lord and may you find peace and comfort knowing he is in a better place waiting to be reunited with those who loved him so much.
BHS Class of 1980
Guillermo and I would like to send our deepest sympathies to the Brophy Family. Having been raised in Sheldon Oaks Project in Hfd without a dad, Mr. Brophy was our father figure. One summer at a swimming Pool at a local park I cramped up on both legs, and could not walk. Mr. B. carried me like an infant to a warm shower to that i could work out the cramps. Deep in my heart i know that he carried me through out the 4 yrs at the school. I never will forget the good time spent at his home with his lovely wife. First time I know about WC Fields. Just recently on a trip to his home in hartford, after 25 years I returned only to find out that he was retired and moved. We all became part of the Brophy Family, we still are. I hurt for his physical loss but know that he still lives in the lives of all who knew him. God Bless Mrs. Brophy and the Brophy family during their time of need. I love you Mr. Bro.
jose "shorty" rivera and Guillermo Rivera
Dearest MK--Love you so much and want you to know that playing with Uncle Jim and having him figure out my toys was a special childhood memory...as I got older he would occasionally give me advice, but most of all he listened...at a time when I was insecure and needed to be heard. Thank you so much for blessing our family with Jim...I am at a loss for words of comfort...but know that I love you.
Dear Mrs Brophy
Words can never express the deep feeling of loss when I heard the news ... Mr B was always a father figure to all of us and was always there to bend an ear...
my best memories were my junior year 14-1 ( east hartford touch out )and the bulkeley swim team grave yard , after twenty five years I still have the Conard RIP kickbord cutout signed by everyone ... Shark attack was always great to play even when eight swimmers could not budge jim from the floor of the pool ... and of course the practicle jokes ( endless ) like when he had ralph dominguez gear up in a wet suit & SCUBA in the goodwin park pond and lay in waiting as jim approached the pond with a his golf buddies only to have ralph jump out of the pond grab the golf ball and dive back into the pond to barely escape the swinging golf clubs ...
Jim was always there to help like when my grandfather passed of cancer he assured me that it would be ok and to remain Optimistic ...
I continue to have a hopeful view on everything that I do in life and contribute this to having known James N Brophy our Friend / Mentor and Coach ...
God Bless you Both ,
Bulkeley Class of 1980
My fondest high school memories are of my swim team involvement. I was a girl manager of the boy's swim team at Bulkeley in the 70s and had the great pleasure of knowing Mr. James Brophy. He brought out the very best in his swim team kids. He made us all believe that we mattered and we could succeed at anything we wanted to as long as we tried our best. He was our friend and our mentor and the kind of person we all wanted to be. Kind, generous, understanding, loyal and funny. He sure had a great sense of humor. Mr. Brophy's untimely passing has deeply saddened me. I know I am not alone.
I have had a lot of people ask me who my hero was when I was younger. My answer was the same every time: Mr. Brophy my high school swimming coach! He not only taught me how to become a better swimmer but he taught me how to become a better man!
I know that this has to be a very difficult time for you because it is hard for me to deal with the loss of one of the top few awesome influences in my life. He not only taught through his leadership skills but he taught by example. He would not expect anything of me that he wouldn't do himself (except for the bad jokes).
I wish that I had the words of comfort to type here so that you wouldn't have to feel the pain that you must be experiencing but I don't have them. The thing that I do have is the comfort in knowing that Jim Brophy will live in my heart as long as it is beating!
He was an awesome man and they say that behind every good man is an even better woman! I wish that I could be there to give you a great big hug and tell you personally how much I enjoyed getting to know you in the years of the "Collier swimming and managing era" at good ole Bulkeley High! You seemed to know us almost as well as he knew us which was great because we had the influence of the Brophy team which made us that much better!
Please know that my prayers are with you and the family! Thank you and Mr. Brophy for being such a great part of my life!
Darryl Collier Class of 1978
Mrs.B, My deepest sympathy on your loss. Coach Brophy was a great influence on my life as well as many others who had the priveledge to know him, sit under his teaching,and be touched by his great spirit of love and encouragement. I am one who benefited from all of those qualities. My children have taken up competitive swimming and Coach has even had an influence on them even though we are miles apart. James N. Brophy will be surely missed. But his legacy will live on in our hearts. May God Bless you. Sincerely, Willie F. Collier, Jr. class of "76" Bulkeley High
I share this with deepest sympathy knowing that you must find some solace in knowing what a special man your husband was.
It was a cold day in March of 1980. I was a freshman at Bulkeley HS and had a severe self-confidence and shyness problem. My father was ill with cancer. My mother, not knowing how to face her sons (My brother Mike was a senior also on the swim team) with grave news, turned to the one person she knew she could trust. Mr. Brophy called me to his office, although 25 years later, his words are still strong in my mind. He told me my father was terminal, and would die. He said "....there are many people in your life including your brother and me, who love you very much and will be here to help you through this. We care about you."
Over the course of four years, Mr. B nutured my confidence both in and out of the water. The countless good times, jokes, and words of wisdom are far too many to list. Four years later after an awards banquet where I received the Swim team MVP award we shared another memorable moment. Mr. B gave me a hug and said "you did it", the only thing that was right to reply was "No....We did."
During those days on the team, I took away many lessons of life. Some that I often use with my three children today. Most of all, I took away a feeling. A feeling that I was special. I was special to a man that I admired very much, I mattered to him. It is a feeling that I find hard to put into words, but then again I don't have to. Because every person who reads this, every person who knew the man, feels that very same feeling.
What an amazing man.
Mr. Brophy, THANK YOU.
I am forever grateful and indebted to you.
With Much Love,
Honorable Sheik, and Royal Mucky Muck
Kathy, My most sincere sympathy to you for the loss of your husband and to Joe and Dan for the loss of their brother. (Carol's cousin)
Katherine - so sorry to hear about your loss - my deepest sympathy to you. Have thought of you often and the wonderful friend you were while we were at Tech. Take care and with regards. Elaine Houston
I was so sorry to hear of Mr. Brophys passing. My brother was a diver for him from 1979 to 1983 and when he passed away in February of 2001, Mr. Brophy came to his service. He gave my parents such comfort and reminded them of so many happy memories. I had the pleasure of knowing him as well being a 1981 Bulkeley graduate. I never saw him without a smile. My condolences to his entire family.
I want to let you know that Jim was an inspiration to thousands of kids who he taught and coached. He is one of my role models and I am grateful for that. He supplied the City if Hartford with many well trained and dedicated lifeguards. For that, many parents and their children are grateful. Sincerely,
Coach was a special person. I never really knew that one person could have so much love in his heart for so many people. Knowing Coach for 4 years as a swimmer at newington, he inspired me to be the man i am today. I strive every day to be a good person, as coach taught us to be in the 4 years. If i am ever half the man he is, i think that would be enough. Coach was remarkable. Coming in as a freshman, i swam because my friends did and it seemed fun. By senior year, there was 11 of us who swam for "fun" (which it was) and went on to a conference championship. Now today, none of us swim competively, but we will never forget those 4 years. We went in looking for a good time and we came out champs, breaking two school records. That wasn't because we were terrific swimmers, (if so, we would still be swimming), it was because we had an amazing coach, with the ability to inspire and love all his swimmers, making them believe and giving them strength they didn't think they had. I will never forget the IHOP breakfasts that he would treat us to because he cared and enjoyed talking to us. I will never forget those 4 years of swimming, the best memories of high school. But most of all, i will never forget the lessons he taught, and that even when he was mad cause you were late to practice or went slow, he always had that look of love and you, the swimmer, knew it. Coach taught me to swim, to go fast, but he more importantly taught me to be a good person, and i will forever be grateful for that. He will always live in my heart, and i will pass his life on to my kids in hopes that they can learn and be as lucky as i was. He now watches over me as a angel, and i will feel his presence every day. Coach, thank you, i will never forget you. I love you!!
I first met Coach Brophy in 1976. I swam for the Bullfrogs from '76 to '80. I have always remained a friend and fan of my Coach. The lessons I've learned from him have led me through life and I am a better person for knowing him.
Coach made all of us feel like we were important and significant. Many of us came to know Coach in our teenage years in High School. He was always able to pick that time in your life when you needed someone to help, support or listen and he would be there for you. His example will be with us all forever.
I Love and miss my Coach.
To the Brophy Family,
I coached against Jim for many years when he was at Bulkeley HS and knew him also from officiating many of his meets. He was a man of great integrity and dedication whose positive influence upon young people's lives was far reaching. There is no coach that I've ever met that I had more respect for. I am deeply saddened by his passing.He was a great man.
Phil Devlin (former HKHS head coach and longtime swim official with the WCSOA)
As my teacher I learned of his love of life. As a friend I learned how an unassuming man could profoundly affect the lives of those around him. And as a parent of a swimmer I learned his advice was indispensable. My heart breaks for those who knew and loved him and for those who never had the chance.
I have known Coach Brophy for four years. I swam for him for three years, and i had the pleasure of working besides him as his assistant coach this year. I can't begin to tell you what Coach Brophy meant to me. He was always there to lend advice, and would go out of his way to help you in any situation. He was more than a coach to me. He was a teacher, a mentor, and most of all a friend. I will forever be greatful for all that he has taught me about swimming and life over the past four years. I don't know where i would be today if i hadn't known Coach Brophy. My heart goes out to Mrs. Brophy and the rest of Coach Brophy's family. Coach Brophy was a one of a kind man who will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him. Thanks for everything Coach.
Mrs. Brophy and Family,
It was truly an honor to know Mr. Brophy. His kindheartedness, his warmth and his passion for being both a swim coach, as well as a life coach, will live on in the lives of so many. He was the father that so many of us never knew. His dedication to our lives has changed us forever.
Thank you for supporting him while he supported us.
You are in my prayers.
Sharon Mancuso Lee
BHS c/o 1993
Dear Kathy and family,
I recently found out that Jim had passed away and wanted to express my sorry at hearing the sad news. I was fortunate to learn a lot from Jim when he was teaching at BHS. His style with his students helped me become a better teacher. Jim and his "partner in education and practical jokes", Felix, inspired our history department. I always think of Jim when I see Felix. Jim left his mark on many at BHS as an educator of students and coach of bullfrogs.
He will be fondly rememberd and missed.
Peace to you and your family.
I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of coach Brophy.
Although I didn't have the opportunity to swim under him I'll
always remember his presence and impact on the swimming
community in Hartford and beyond. After reading the guest book
online I was even more impressed with the breadth of his impact on
peoples lives. He'll be missed greatly.
You will always be in my heart.As a freshman i remember when i was swimming the breaststoke you came up to me and ask me to swim across the shallow part of the pool.As i can remember i think i swam across the pool about 6 or 7 times,then he asked me to join the swim team.My junior year i joined,and i never looked back after that.I was small but Mr.Brophy never saw the downfalls,that people had he looked at the potetial that you can achieve.I will never forget what he has taught me,nor the person he taught me to be.I will always remember and love you from the bottom of my heart.Bullfrog always, class of 83.
James Pemberton BHS Class of 90
It was an honor to have shared this existence with you coach. You taught me how to be a leader and were there when I needed you the most. Your legacy will live forever. Make sure the pool is ready when we meet again, I'll take it easy on you when we play shark.
It was wonderful to see so many people on Wednesday night paying tribute to Coach Brophy. It speaks volumes for our resolve to honor him when we all ventured out, despite the snowstorm. The love and admiration was palpable for Mr. B as all of his swimmers made their presence felt. We shared our experiences and reflected on what we learned from him to ease the pain of losing him. Despite the differences in our ages, we were and will always be a part of his swimming family. Coach Brophy will always be in our hearts and his legacy will continue in all of us.
Bulkeley High School "Bullfrogs" Class of 1985
Mr. Brophy was one of the most influential people in my life. He showed us all how to enjoy what we do. The pratical jokes, jokes of the day, all the little side clubs he formed...these are all memories that stay with you. I've taught my sons his version of 'Deck the Halls'. To this day I still repeat his words, "If you can't have fun doing it, is it worth it?"
Mr. B guided us through some of our toughest years. He supported us when we failed and cheered us when we succeeded. He expected a lot from us and we all tried harder because of that. I am a better person for knowing him.
Mrs. Brophy and the Brophy Family,
You have only to look at the number of people who attended his wake, and so many more that have expressed their feelings here and those that have yet to, to know how loved he was. My fondest memory with him was having the honor to send him off from Bulkeley with the CCC East championship in 1994. It meant so much to us, but I know that it meant so much more to him. It was a testament to his coaching and I wouldn't have it any other way. The look on his face at Maloney as the final swimmer touched the wall to clinch the victory meant everything to all of us.
I have my own chance now to stand in his shoes as I take on the boy's swim team at Manchester High School. I can assure you that his legacy will live on through me. I cannot wait to have my own chance to hand out Tootsie Pops and watch my swimmers play shark or make snow angels. To me, swimming is all of those little things and nothing less. I had wondered how I would deal with having to coach against him next year, but now I know that I will be coaching with him instead.
My deepest sympathies,
Bulkeley c/o 94
Dear Mrs Brophy and the Brophy Family,
I too knew Mr. Brophy from the swimteam days (1973-1977), he also trained me as a lifeguard for the City of Hartford. As you well know, your husband was a very influential man to many of us and his legacy will live on in the hearts that he touched. God be with you and your family.
You were the best thing to ever happen to me. I wouldn't even be close to the person I am today if it weren't for you being one of my best friends over the past five years. In any given moment, I'm a swimmer, a student, a worker, a son, a brother, or a friend. Yet, while I have so many different relationships...I feel like you taught me how to be the best I can in all of them. You didn't train good swimmers, you made good people. I've never gotten mad at you. Even when we disagreed, you were always right. My best memories are either with you or because of you. I owe you the world and for that, I am eternally grateful. I love you with all of my heart, and that will have to hold me over until I see you again. I love you Coach, so much.
We love you and will always love Jim. A beautiful service, and hope we see you soon.
Love Chris, Dan & Andy Brophy
I would like to send my sincerest apologies for the loss of such a wonderful man and coach. Being only fifteen it is hard for me to understand why God's will would be to take away such a man. He has tocuhed so many lives which was shown through the many people who came to pay their respects and say goodbye to him. I have never met a man who could change so many lives for the better. He was a kind and gentle person who will be genuinely missed. I will never forget the things he taught me about life, and about the goodness of people. I pray that God will treat Coach as well as he has treated all of us. I can say with full confidence that his swimmers will never again touch the water without first thinking of the man who taught them the real meaning of life, and of swimming. How lucky we are to have met a man like Jim Brophy. Take care.
-*Brenna Lindsay*- NHS
My sister and myself send our condolences to the family at this time. Know that although not in body, in spirit he is always around.
Clara Eve c/o 95 and Clara Edith c/o 94, swim team members
I think you know how I feel about Jim. I am not in the position I am today without his love,guidance,and friendship. Thats the truth. Being around Jim always made me feel better and every one of his swimmers will say they were his special kid. A great man will never be judged great by his wealth,fame or wins and championships.He will always be judged by his service to others. James N. Brophy was a great,great man. I will miss him terribly, but he lives in my heart and soul until I see him again.
Love, Harry Bellucci
Dear Mrs. Brophy:
Even though I didn't keep in close contact with Coach Brophy after I graduated, please know that he was a tremendous positive influence in my life. He gave me something I desperately needed in high school--self-confidence. I know it's a little late, but I put up my own little tribute to him on an NHS friend's website:
I know everyone on the NHS boys' and girls' teams over the last several years greatly respected and appreciated all that he did for us, and you have my deepest sympathy.
Mr Brophy would have probably thrown me in the pool if I didn't write something from the heart. My fondest memories are of an amazing comeback Jim architected against East Hartford in 1983, presenting me with a varsity letter for being a team manager and his letters to me in air force basic training. Always the motivator, always the teacher/mentor and always a friend. I am a better man, husband, father and friend from being fortunate enough to have encountered the soul of JNB. My deepest sympathy and prayers to the Brophy family and friends.
With deepest sympathy and condolescences for the Brophy family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Dear Kathy: I am so sorry to learn of your loss. My thoughts and best wishes at this difficult time are with you. Most Sincerely, Jared Look (UConn)
I was very sorry to hear about Mr.Brophy.......what a great loss....I too had the pleasure of knowing him in high school....he was always a kind and generous soul...always had a gentle lesson, a door wide open....and always a smile........he will be greatly missed by all......blessings, Lisa Coyne (Bouthet)
Dear Mrs. Brophy,
I am sure as you are reading these entries all of the praise and sympathy does not surprise you; after all, you knew Coach better than any of us. He was a very special man to many people, young and old. He had a presence that did not go unnoticed. I had the pleasure of knowing him for the past eight years. I first met him through my brother who swam for the Newington Boys’ Team. I was immediately attracted to the positive and fun atmosphere Coach created at the pool. I then managed the Boys’ team for my four years at NHS and was lucky enough to have your husband as my coach as well. Mr. Brophy was a great coach and inspired us to do the best we could, not just in the water but in our academics as well. He was not just there to win, he really cared about us. I want you to know how sorry I am for your loss.
I had the pleasure of getting to know Mr. Brophy throughout my years as a Newington High School Swimmer and our paths soon crossed again four years later when I became the head coach of the Bristol Eastern Girls Swim Team in 2003. Today, my father told me that you and he had spoken almost everyday as he passed by the pool at NHS. My father said that you were always so kind to ask how I was doing and progressing as a coach. I would like to thank you Mr. Brophy for always taking the time to look out for those who looked up to you. Your thoughtfulness and dedication will never be forgotten!
On behalf of myself, my family, and the Bristol Eastern Girls Swim Team, I would like to offer our condolences to The Brophy Family.
Only you can feel the pain that loosing Jim has brought. We can only support you with our friendship and love during this difficult time. To say Jim was a special person would be to minimize his enormous contibution to the Bulkeley Family. The students who were fortunate enough to grow and be nurtured by him will be the ones who will carry on his legacy. They will live his values. They will smile at the person who needs a smile, on his behalf. They will live a life of integrity just as he taught them. They will hold high standards because of the bars Jim set for them. They will give their best because Jim would accept no less. Most of all, they will always have him close to their hearts because, he was close to them when they needed him. He will surely be missed; but, all we need to do is to look at our students to find the Jim we love in them. God Bless.
Anna Salamone Consoli
Dear Mrs. Brophy,
Although I only knew Coach for a year, he was a big part of my family. He coached many generations of it and finally coached me. He will be missed by all.
I love you Coach!
Dear Kathy, My thoughts and prayers are with you. Carolyn L. Scholz, UCONN Torrington
Dear Mrs. Brophy,
I had the honor and the pleasure assisting Coach Brophy for two years at Newington High. He was an amazing man who every swimmer looked up to fondly, no matter how hard he pushed them. He taught me so much in such a short time. I wish I had had the joy of swimming for him. I will always hold his memory dear. I am sorry for your great loss.
Mr. Brophy was a very special man. As a coach, he was very competative, he made sure all of his swimmers were prepared for every swim meet. He ,also, made sure all of his swimmers were prepared for life. He taught you that you can do alot with hard work, at a time in your life when you really needed it. He would praise you when you deserved it, and he would let you know when you were not giving a good effort, but he never made you feel bad about yourself.
I am happy to have had Mr. Brophy in my life, and the lessons he has taught me will stay with me forever. Of course I am sad that he is no longer with us, but I am even sadder for the kids whose lives he would have touched in the next few years.
Dear Mrs.B and i have to call you Mrs.B because even after all these years most of us could only call you husband Mr.B.I will always consider it my good fortune to have known coach. He was and always will be one of the best role model any young person could ask for.I was a member of his swim team for 1975-1978 at BHS.We all got to spend a lot of time working out and goofing around with him and for that and his kindness we will always be greatful. my deepest sympathies
Dear Mrs. Brophy and Family,
I knew Mr. Brophy in 1966 (39 years ago) when he taught History at BHS and I was a sophomore. All the girls were crazy about this gorgeous young teacher. Sad to say, I wasn't lucky enough to have him for History but some of my girlfriends did. He was loved by all and still brings back nice memories. He made his imprint on all those who met him. Please accept my deepest condolences.
Bulkeley High School Class of 1968
Dear Kathy, and family:
I am one of many, from the Patterson Club in Fairfield, CT who as children were encouraged in so many pursuits by Jim "Doc" Brophy. Reading, (at that time it was JRR Tolkien that Doc introduced me to,) humour (The Pogo Comic strip was a favorite,) and of course, swimming, and what it was to be a good team member. He shared his love of life with a generosity and good humour that was irresitible to us. What a marvelous adult to know!
Remembering "Doc" as always, with love and a smile.
My deepest sympathy for the loss of Mr. Brophy. I thank Mr.Brophy for introducing me to the Hobbit, the value of a practical joke and teaching me that nothing will make you feel better than doing something for someone else. I will always remember him and be grateful for what he taught me.
I truely do not know what to say at what must be an extremely sad and difficult time for you.
Our prayers are with you and we are available to give any support or help that you need. Please do not hesitate to ask.
We love you and hope to be able to be of some support to you at this time.
Cathy & Steve
Dear Kathy - I am so very sorry to hear of your husband's sudden death. I cannot even begin to imagine what a difficult time this must be for you. I hope that it helps a bit to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
At least once a week a student will come into my pool office and ask why do I have so many frogs.(They number over 50 now and come in all forms, shapes and sizes.) I tell them that it all began with a teacher/coach named Jim Brophy and a swim team called the Bullfrogs. And the story continues. Besides the ones in my office, there are many frogs hidden by his swim teams around the pool deck. I decided to try to find one yesterday and finally came across one hidden in the concrete brick pool wall. Just like these frogs are imbedded in these walls so is the incredible legacy that you left Jim. It is one of wisdom, caring, strong convictions and moral values and a true love of swimming. We will miss you Captain Soggy but your spirit will always be at the foundation of Bulkeley Swimming. You will remain a true Bullfrog in our hearts forever. My deepest sympathy to you Kathy, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Diane Callis, BHS Swim Coach and Faculty Manager
Mrs. Brophy and Family,
I am very sad for your loss and wish your family peace during this time. Mr. Brophy holds a special place in my heart and he will never know how much he influenced me as a person/swimmer.
You are in my thoughts.
Kristin Strogoff McCallister
Just wanted to give my condolences to the Brophy family and the family of swimmers that Mr. Brophy left behind. I was fortunate enough to attend a ceremony to present Mr. Brophy with a plaque for his 40th year as a swim coach. It was nice to meet Bulkeley swimmers from past generations because they had the same stories and memories of Mr. Brophy and the family he created. The lessons he taught us have guided us all throughout life. He made us more than better swimmers, he made us better people. There is a group from Bulkeley in the 80's and 90's that had lunch with Mr. Brophy every christmas, if anyone is interested in joining this group email me, phat ky, or Rob Mancuso.
Dear Mrs. Brophy,
Please accept my heartfelt sympathies for your recent and devasting loss. Coach Brophy molded many fine men, for which I'm sure he was proud. It was an honor to serve on his "Brophy's Bad _ _ _ Bullfrogs" Teams from 1973 to 1977. Respectfully,
Jim Brophy and I coached agaist each other for over thirty years. Always a gentlman, always a friend. Thanks for the half hour talk we had at the 2005 State Open. The City of Hartford has been and will always be blessed by your dedication and love for the children.
Mrs. Brophy, our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
Our son, Michael, swam for Jim for four years at Newington High School, graduating in 2004. Jim had a long lasting impact on Michael, our family, and the entire Newington High School community. The positive impact he had on so many young lives is a lasting gift.
Dear Mrs. Brophy.
I am sending you my deepest sympathy in this most tragic time. Mr. B. was such a great man. He taught me not only how to swim but how to stand up to everyday hardships with a smile. I remember sitting at your house and playing chess for hours with him. Please know that he was loved very much by all that knew him and still is. I'll miss you Mr. B
Mrs. Brophy - I was sad to read of your loss. I didn't know your husband well but do remember him from school. You were one of my teachers (I graduated in 1971, maiden name Bouley) and I think of you often through the years as you were such a nice person. I just lost my dad in January, but that's not the same as losing your spouse. My very best wishes to you.
Mr. Brophy, to whom those of us who remember him from those days still refer to him, will be recalled as someone who really cared. Sounds trite. But true.
Not too sure of his up-bringing, but it was definitely better than ours. Could say he was just one of those stereotyped liberals we have known or heard of from the 60's. But for a small group of accidental swimmers, Mr. Brophy provided the discipline, physical and intellecual challenges we needed to get through those tough times. Sounds gibberish. But true.
He was my surrogate father for a precious time, although he was barely ten years older than me. Am sad that i have not been in touch with him for years, despite trying. He will stay with me forever.
My special condolences to his wife, Kathy, who i will also always remember as Ms Hepner. My sophomore homeroom teacher, you questioned my mural and made me think.
Sorry I cannot attend sevices. It is too far from Hawaii and i have just learned tonight. Aloha, Peter Boucher (Class of 71)
Mrs. Brophy and family,
Please accept my condolences for the loss of Mr. Brophy. I wasn't on his team, but he was always a friend to me when I attended BHS. He was always ready to listen and help any kid. He spent time with the kids, helping run the BHS bike club.
God bless you and comfort you in this difficult time.
John Durkin BHS 80
Mr. Brophy meant a lot to many of us. His kindness, passion, love, and good heart touch many lives. I cannot help but to think of the words of Amazing Grace.
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
He helped without thinking twice, and showed me another way to live life. Took many kids under his wing and made them believe in themselves. Because of him I have not given up on college and I will continue some of the traditions he left behind, in swimming and in our hearts. He will forever be in my heart and in memories. My prayers are with the Brophy family and all that are hurt by this great lost.
Dennis Mercado, BHS c/o 1995 and present swim coach at Bulkeley.
I have fond memories of "Mr. B". He was an inspirational, fun spirit. His teachings of sportsmanship are appreciated and often rememebered.
Class of 1991
Dear Brophy Family,
Just a few weeks ago I was helping my daughter write her caption for her yearbook. We looked at mine. Under my picture I said goodbye to some teachers from Bulkeley. It ended with..."especially JNB". My daughter asked, who was that? I reponded, Mr. Brophy.
Mr. Brophy was one of the finest men I have ever met. I have so many fond memories. I loved being the manager of the boys swim team. I loved being a lifeguard. I loved spending all my free time around the pool. I still love frogs. Jim Brophy gave me my love of swimming and all things aquatic.
I've thought of him often over the years. I am so grateful to have known him. He made a difference in my life.
He will be missed and he will always have a special place in my heart.
Coach Brophy was Newington High's girl's swim team head coach for 3 out of my 4 years, assistant coach for 1. He always believed in us and pushed us to improve, rewarding our improvements with candy and apples after Saturday morning practices. He never doubted the ability that any of us had and I was proud to be one of his 2004 senior captains. Representing the team he led and further leading by his side was one of the best accomplishments of my high school career, one that I will always be so proud of. Coach Brophy was, and still is, an inspiration to all of us. He will be greatly missed, especially by all the swimmers he has mentored over the years, including myself.
Mrs. Brophy, my thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
It's been twenty years and Mr. B's lessons on sportsmanship, honor, and respect to name a few are still a part of me. I am a better person for having known him. I know that many of his 'kids' are feeling the same way tonight. I take solace in knowing that his legacy will live on in the memories and actions of the hundreds of people he touched throughout his life.
I will never forget you Coach.
I got to know Coach Brophy in my freshman year last year when he was kind enough to coach the NHS girls swim team. I am glad I got to know him as I have many fond memories. Coach gave me the nickname of buzzsaw that will always remind me of Coach Brophy. I will truly miss him. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
My condolences to the family. Mr. B was a very special man. He had the ability to communicate and relate to anyone he meet. He was an excellent coach and an even better man. This has been proven by the many tears shed by the ones who he has left behind. Mr.B will always be in our hearts. Rest in peace, sir.
Though years pass, there are inevitably people who have touched our lives in such a positive way. We may not have known it back then. But, we understand it now. Teaching us values, honor, commitment, and endurance. Mr. Brophy was my teacher, my coach, my mentor, and my friend while at Bulkeley. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Class of 1986
Bulkeley H.S. - Swim Team
MK; We are so sorry for the loss of your beloved Jim. Please know that you are in our prayers. May God comfort you and strengthen you.
Dear Brophy Family & Friends,
There are only a few adults that
kids look up to for direction, support, encouragement, acheivement and as a friend. Jim was one of those adults who had a long-term effect on kids and shaping their future. I was one of them. I swam for Bulkeley all 4 years and had Jim as a history teacher also. He was special. He is in my Hall of Fame along with my father who passed away 2 months ago in Florida. My condolences.
Mr. B. aka Captain Soggy was a warm, caring and tender hearted man. He gave us his all as a coach, mentor and most importantly as a friend.
I had the pleasure of knowing Mr. B. as a swimmer in his summer youth program at BHS and as a manager of his boys bullfrog teams from 88-92.
He taught us to work hard and to give it our best. He always knew how to push us to our potential. Hopefully we will all be able to take the lessons he provided and pass them on in future generations.
Remembering the small things like Friday/Saturday award time in receiving that tootsie pop for the smallest improvement in a meet or practice, the shark games, water basketball, chess tournaments, banquet awards and for all you BHS alum - tunnel ball! :)
I could go on but I know we all have our own special and fond memories to reflect upon.
Mrs. B. we know that you are feeling a wide range of emotions now, but know we will always be here for you.
You are in my thoughts and prayers,
Kathy and family:
I am so very sorry to hear of your great loss. Wishing each of you peace of mind and spirit.
Mr. Brophy was a wonderful man. He coached us with an iron fist at Bulkeley, but we loved him in spite of it.
He will be greatly missed.
Dear Kathy- I don't think I can even imagine what you must be going through at this very sad time. Having not met your husband, I feel that I was not lucky enough to have met someone who was obviously so well-loved and respected by all with whom he came in contact. Knowing you, however, I can see that he must have been a very special man indeed to have been your husband.
My family and I send our heartfelt condolences and love to you and yours at this time and please let me know if there is anything that I can do for you.
Lainie & Brian
Jim has been a regular at Chuck's Steak House in Rocky Hill for years, and we have to say he was one of our FAVORITE CUSTOMERS, and friend.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all his family and friends.
Chuck's Steak House-Rocky Hill
It is difficult to express all my sympathy that goes out to you during this time of profound and sudden loss. Please know how close you are in my heart,thoughts, and prayers.
Bill and I are shocked and saddened to hear of Jim's passing. Bill felt especially close to Jim with all their years of friendship and coaching together. We are so very sorry and will be in touch with you. God bless.
Love - Jane
My memories of Jim go back to the 60's when he was the swim coach at the Patterson Club in Fairfield. He was the sweetest man with a great sense of humor. "Doc" has and will always have a special place in the Elliots' hearts.
Love and great sympathy to Kathy and family.
I feel blessed to have been around Coach Brophy for the past 7 years. He gave me and my team support that we can never explain. His love of coaching was so obvious. He was and still is an inspiration to me. Coach will be missed by the Newington Swim Club coaching staff, swimmers and the entire NSC family.
I have the sweetest memories of Coach Brophey at his best. I am going to miss his warm smile, his bear hugs, and of course, his remarkable dedication to Newington High School swimmers and divers. My deepest sympathy is with his family and I hope he is resting in the sweetest peace.
To the all Brophy's,
I am very sorry for your loss. I remember your Uncle Jim very well. He was a great guy and a wonderful coach. We read this poem at my Uncle's funeral last year. I hope you find some comfort in the words....
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I and you are you: Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way you always used.
Put no difference into your tone; wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we always enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect, without the ghost of a shadow in it.
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is absolute unbroken continuity.
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well.
Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918, Canon of St Paul's Cathedral
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of sorrow. Jim will be dearly missed by all.
My name is Don Lukowski and I'm the Boys Tennis Coach at Newington High. On behalf of my coaches and team, we would like to express our deepest sympathy on the loss of your husband. Unfortunately, with the school being so large, I never really got to know your husband, howver, yesterday, after his team was told of his passing, I really couldn't believe how much much emotion was shown by his team. I have a few members of the swim team on my tennis team and, they came to our meeting after learning of Jim's death - the outpouring of emotion and care that they showed for this man was truly great - you could really tell they cared very much for their coach! My God give him rest from all his labors and may The Lord comfort you in this time of loss -
With sincere sympathy - Don Lukowski& team
There's alot of Jim Brophy in me. He always expected my best and I was always glad to give it to him. He taught me that I could learn something from everyone that I meet. And he was right.
I'm so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. As you may know, I'm in Richmond, VA with my sister and they expect her to leave us very soon. It is so hard to say good-bye and to accept that they won't be with us here on earth anymore. Their love and their spirit will live with us always though.
Felix is on his way back to Connecticut to be with you at this time of sorrow. He loved Jim very much.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Just wanted to express my deepest sympathies to Mr. Brophy's wife and family. I was a member of the Bulkeley High graduating Class of 1995 girl's swim team, and had the pleasure of working with him from 1991-1995 in managing the boys swim team. My thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time of sorrow.
There are no words to express the saddness and loss were are feeling.
Our deepest sympathies go out to
Mrs.Brophy and family. To our NHS & BHS family our thoughts and prayers are with you. ...but if we know Coach, he has already found a new pool,every lane is filled and he is already in the middle of a trying out a new work out.
luciano & Flaherty
Mr. Brophy coached our son Michael, 22, and our son Adam, 15, on the NHS swim team. He was a wonderful coach who taught the boys what motivation and commitment meant. He always took the time to talk to us when he passed us in the hallway or the parking lot of the school.He'd greet us with that big smile. His leadership fostered lifelong friendships among the boys. His influence will remain with them always. He is a part of them.
With deepest sympathy during this time of difficulty.
Jim was a loving and generous soul. I was privileged to have known him as my brother in law, and my children have been blessed to have known him as their Uncle. May he be in the loving presence of our Lord this day, and may Kathy and family be surrounded by his light and love always.
With love and sympathy,