Published in the March 21, 2019 edition.


WAKEFIELD — Three-sport athletes in high school sports are becoming more and more rare.

Having a specialty focus in one or two sports at the most is a trend not likely to end soon.

Three-sport coaches are even more uncommon, but yes, they exist.

Chris Tolios, a former three-sport athlete himself, has been coaching high school sports for 10 seasons.

The Ipswich native, a current health and physical education teacher at the Galvin Middle School, has a passion for coaching that never stops.

Tolios is the varsity girls’ basketball coach at his alma mater Ipswich High, is an assistant varsity football coach at St. John’s Prep and spent his spring last year as the freshman softball coach at Wakefield High.

Tolios will now bring that coaching passion to his new post as the Warriors’ varsity softball head coach.

“This was another opportunity to connect with the kids here in Wakefield,” said Tolios. “I remember saying in my initial teaching interview here nearly five years ago that it was a goal of mine to teach and coach in the same place, because all of my role models growing up were my teachers who also coached me in the three sports that I played. I consider myself pretty lucky to be able to work in such a great place and now with an opportunity to take over a program and be involved even more is really an honor and a privilege. Hopefully I can have a similar impact on the kids that my teacher-coaches had on me.”

Tolios made the switch to softball from his playing days in baseball. He was also the head baseball coach at Ipswich for four years before joining the Warrior softball program.

The main reason for that shift all comes back to his goal of centralizing his teaching and coaching responsibilities here in Wakefield.

“I think coaching in the same community that you teach in is a great recipe for success for any sport, especially in my situation where I teach 8th grade,” said Tolios. “The ability for me to connect with the softball girls in the classroom and build that relationship with them will hopefully keep them here in Wakefield and eager to play softball for the high school.

“On top of that, as they get to the high school program, they will already know me, my personality and my overall expectations for student-athletes which will hopefully make for easy transitions from youth softball into high school softball.”

Tolios takes over for Rick Quattrocchi who had coached the team since 2010. Taking over a rich softball tradition, Tolios is excited to work on getting Wakefield back to the state tournament. The Warriors have missed the postseason the last two years.

“Really with any sport, you are always looking to improve from game to game and year to year,” said Tolios. “Ultimately, I’d like for this program to be a perennial contender in the state tournament and one of those programs that other towns respect and always come in knowing it is going to be a battle.”

More important than the wins and losses, Tolios wants Warriors who value what it means to be a student athlete.

“I just want good people and competitors,” said Tolios. “Whether they are in the classroom or on the field, I want them to give everything they have with class and respect. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about; teaching these kids how to handle adversity, a strong work ethic and the mentality it takes to be a part of something successful.”