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David Blake

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David Blake 1950-2012 David John Blake died unexpectedly at his home in Rutland, Vt. He was born January 13, 1950 in Bellows Falls, Vt., to Katherine and John Blake. He graduated from Bellows Falls High School in 1968 where he played football, basketball and baseball. Upon graduation Dave went to Castleton State College where he had an outstanding career on the Spartan basketball team and was named MVP and co-captain his senior year. He graduated from Castleton in 1972 with a B.S. degree in secondary education. For over 40 years Dave was involved with sports as a player, coach and administrator at the high school and college level. His teaching and coaching career began in 1973 at Burr & Burton Academy in Manchester, VT where he taught social studies and coached. Coach Blake was an integral part of the "Glory Years" of Burr & Burton boy's basketball during which the Bulldogs won four consecutive state championships (1976 to 1979). He was an assistant coach to his mentor and head coach George "Gigi" Allard for the first three titles and was head coach when the Bulldogs won their fourth consecutive championship in 1979. While at Burr and Burton Academy, Coach Blake's boy's basketball teams won three more state championships in 1981, 1983 and 1984. He coached the golf team to two state championships and also coached the girl's varsity softball team to numerous state tournament appearances. In 1987 Dave accepted a position as assistant men's basketball coach at St. Michael's College, Colchester, Vt. During this time, he earned a Masters Degree in Sports Management from The United States Sports Academy in Mobile, Alabama. Two years later, he was named assistant men's basketball coach at Champlain College in Burlington, Vt. While at Champlain, the men's basketball team advanced to the National Junior College Championships in 1990 as well as being ranked number three in the country. In 1993, Coach Blake received his first collegiate head-coaching job at his alma mater Castleton State College. Dave also served as assistant athletic director and athletic director. He rebuilt the men's basketball program into a competitive one that earned a spot in the NAIA National Basketball Tournament. In 1998 Dave joined the staff of Mill River Union High School, North Clarendon, Vt., as social studies teacher and assistant girl's basketball coach. He retired in 2008. Coach Blake received numerous awards throughout his coaching career, including: Hall of Fame honor from Burr & Burton Academy, Vermont Division II Coach of the Year and was named head coach of the Vermont Alhambra Boy's Basketball Team. Dave will always be remembered for his care and concern for his players and students. His father, John Blake, and his sister, Eileen Blake, precede Dave in death. He is survived by his former wife Anne Blake; mother, Katherine Blake; brothers Tom Blake and Reverend Peter Blake; sisters Pat Lindahl, Kathy Blake, Pauline O'Brien and MaryBeth Blake. Messages of condolence can be e-mailed to the family in care of [email protected] FUNERAL NOTICE: There will be an Open House Celebration of Dave's Life Sunday June 10th from 10 to 11:30 a.m., at Burr and Burton Academy E.H.Henry Gymnasium in Manchester.

Published in Bennington Banner on May 31, 2012
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