Nicholas A. Gabardina (1932 - 2019)

32 entries
  • "Mr G was my social studies teacher at Memorial in 1978 ...."
  • "We are so saddened by the loss of our dear cousin, Nick. I..."
    - Susie and Chris Mouroukas
  • "RIP Coach. Though I always was on an opposing team, having..."
    - Richard Masson
  • "Truly a beautiful caring man! Words like generous, loyal,..."
    - Donna Guimont
  • "Uncle Nick to many including my own children, myself and..."
The Guest Book is expired.
Service Information
Goodwin Funeral Home
607 Chestnut Street
Manchester, NH
03104
(603)-625-5703
Calling hours
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Goodwin Funeral Home
607 Chestnut Street
Manchester, NH 03104
View Map
Funeral service
Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019
9:00 AM
Goodwin Funeral Home
607 Chestnut Street
Manchester, NH 03104
View Map
Obituary

MANCHESTER - Nicholas A. Gabardina, 87, a coaching legend in the New Hampshire sports world, passed away peacefully on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 due to deteriorating health.

Born in 1932, he was the son of Arthur J. Gabardina and Mary (Triantafilou) Gabardina.

A lifelong resident of Manchester, Nick grew up in the center of the city playing on fields now occupied by the JFK Coliseum and spent his youth immersed in a variety of sports, especially baseball, basketball and football.

At the age of 15, he played baseball for Henry J. Sweeney Post #2, The American Legion, and was a pitcher on the 1947 team that went to the Legion World Series in California. It was there that he met Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey and played against eventual Red Sox Manager Don Zimmer.

While a student at Manchester High School Central, Nick was a member of the varsity football, basketball and baseball teams for all four years and his talent as a lineman was good enough to be offered a football scholarship to Brown University.

After his playing days ended, "Mr. G", as he came to be known, joined the coaching ranks of youth baseball interrupted only by a two-year commitment to another team, the U.S. Army. After that, he joined his brother, Ody, as a member of the coaching staff at East Little League then moved on to South Little League.

In 1956, Nick was hired by the city to both teach and coach at Manchester Central. Though he is best known for the years he spent coaching both football and baseball, it was his three-year stint with the Central JV hoop team that he most enjoyed. As he put it, "That was my favorite coaching job because Varsity Coach, Dick Healy, allowed me to do what I wanted. I kept 15 kids on the squad and rotated them every five minutes during the first half then, at half-time, asked them if they wanted me to continue rotating or did they want to win. Well, we only lost 3 games while winning 13 and the only time they wanted no subs from the opening jump was when we played the JVs from Bradley. Surprisingly, it wasn't the players they wanted to beat...it was their coach...the 'tough-as-nails' football mentor, Eddie Kissell."

In 1958, Nick was appointed head coach of the Post 79 American Legion baseball program, a position he held for 18 years. Assisted by pitching coach, Jim Copadis, their 1966 and 1967 teams made it to the finals of the American Legion World Series. The 1968 ball club lost the final game of the New England Regionals. Had they won, Post 79 would have been the first Legion team to appear in the World Series for three consecutive years, quite a feat for a northern baseball program.

University of New Hampshire football was his next coaching stop where he served as a volunteer assistant offensive line coach in 1960.

In 1963, Nick headed to Manchester West to guide the Blue Knights' football program.

In 1972, he joined the faculty at Manchester Memorial as a member of the social studies department while also taking over as head coach of the Crusader Varsity baseball team.

In 1978, he did "double duty" taking over the reins of the St. Anselm baseball team, a program he headed for 10 years.

In 1992, he turned to a sport he played as a kid and really liked...fast-pitch softball...when he joined the staff of St. A's varsity women's program.

Though he loved to travel during the summer, Nick spent 37 years as a high school classroom teacher and more than 50 years as a coach.

In addition, he attained the level of 32nd-degree Freemason (Washington Lodge) followed by induction into the Bektash Shriners of New Hampshire where he joined his former Post 79 Athletic Director and Post Commander, Guild "Bushie" Hill, as members of the largest class (255) in Bektash history.

Because of his ability to correctly assess a player's potential, Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds appointed him as a scout for their National League ball club.

After serving as the head coach in baseball for 10 years and as an assistant coach in softball, St. Anselm College rewarded him for his dedication and his long and distinguished association with the school by presenting him with the prestigious Varsity "A", the Varsity Letter of Special Merit Award in 1992.

In 2017, Nicholas A. Gabardina was officially inducted into the Anselmian Athletic Club Hall of Fame.

Important to note is the fact that he refused induction into the prestigious Queen City Hall of Fame because he believed that there were other athletes that were more deserving.

Nick was predeceased by his parents; his sister, Helen Gabardina; and his brother, Odysseus "Ody" Gabardina.

Family members include his niece, Nancy (Gabardina) Grant and her husband, Kevin; as well as a countless number of friends.

.

SERVICES: A calling hour is Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 5 to 6 p.m. in Goodwin Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 607 Chestnut St., Manchester.

Funeral services are planned for Thursday, Oct. 17, at 9 a.m. in the funeral home. Interment will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery, Manchester.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the J.D. Foundation, 107 Main Road, Abbot, Maine 04406.

Please visit www.goodwinfh.com to sign the online guestbook.
logo


logo

Published in Union Leader on Oct. 15, 2019
bullet U.S. Army bullet World War II
Give others a chance to express condolences. Not right now.