AYER – Ayer-Shirley Regional boys’ basketball head coach Rick Kilpatrick has certainly had his fair share of success on the hardwood as a coach.
Prior to coming to Ayer-Shirley Regional, Kilpatrick enjoyed tremendous success as the head boys’ basketball coach at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School.
In 21 years at the head of the A-B bench, Kilpatrick guided the Colonials to six dual County League championships, 17 state tournament berths, and one MIAA Division 1 North sectional championship in 2002.
During his tenure at A-B, Kilpatrick was honored twice by the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association as a coach of the year recipient.
After taking a year off, Kilpatrick was hired by Ayer-Shirley Regional Athletic Director Steve Kendall as the next Panthers boys’ basketball head coach. Kilpatrick was brought in to rebuild the Panthers program.
The 2021-2022 winter season was Kilpatrick’s third year on Washington Street and by far his most successful. The Panthers finished the campaign with a 16-6 overall record and won the Mid Wach D title outright for the first time since the 2004 season.
The Panthers qualified for the Massachusetts Division 5 Tournament last season, defeating Tahanto Regional before falling to third-seeded Drury in the Round of 32.
In recognition of the Panthers’ strong 2021-2022 campaign last year, Kilpatrick has been named an MBCA Coach of the Year for the third time during his career.
“I’m very grateful for this award, the fact that it’s coming from my peers, the state coaches association makes it extra special,” said Kilpatrick via telephone recently. “Coaches understand where other coaches are coming from and the challenges that we all face so to be recognized by my peers is extra special.”
Kilpatrick will be honored on Sunday, November 13 at the MBCA Hall of Fame Banquet at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester.
“Coaches are only as good as the coaches and players around them,” said Kilpatrick, who played basketball at Wayland High School and currently resides in Maynard. “I’ve been really fortunate throughout my career to have had the chance to work with and coach some great people and talented kids and last year was no different.”
Ayer-Shirley Regional Athletic Director Steve Kendall praised Kilpatrick on his award.
“Since his hire, Rick has done a great job changing the culture of the program here,” said Kendall. “He has helped develop a program that is respected by officials and the other schools, not only in our league but all throughout Central Massachusetts. We are very lucky to have him here at Ayer-Shirley.”
Kilpatrick plans to return to Ayer-Shirley again this winter where he will once again guide the Panthers. The winter sports season for M.I.A.A school officially begins on Monday, November 28.
“I’m enjoying my time here at Ayer-Shirley and I’m really excited about this upcoming season,” said Kilpatrick. “I’m looking forward to getting back in the gym and working with this year’s group of players and the challenges that come with a new season.