By Danielle Achin
FRAMINGHAM- From alumni to current players, the Framingham State football program gathered at the Sheraton Hotel Conference Center and celebrated 50 years of football at the University on Saturday night, October 29.
Over the years, the program has proven to be successful, earning multiple league championships, NCAA Tournament Appearances, and Bowl Game victories.
Earlier in the day, the Rams won the homecoming game and retained the Kelley Cup, so it made the night all the more memorable for the alumni of Framingham State.
The Framingham State University football program began in 1972 under the direction of Dennis C. Golden.
Today, Framingham State is led by former Ram and current Director of Athletics Tom Kelley.
In 1969, Golden became the Dean of Students at the university at the young age of 27. He decided to pursue his education further and go to school to get his doctorate, this meant leaving the school.
However, Golden was already being looked at and trusted to lead the program by the time the vote was approved. He was told the future of the team lies in his decision to coach or not.
Despite Golden’s skepticism of being head coach and Dean of Students, the vote was approved by President McCarthy, and Golden took to the field to create history.
At the celebration, Golden not only acknowledged the previous players of the Framingham State football team, he commemorated the current five captains of the Framingham State team – Cully Curran, Isaiah Hanks, Nick Ashley, Jack, Canny, andBrian Callery – saying how they will forever be part of the University legacy like the rest of the former players.
Bill Rigney, who graduated in 1974, was a junior at the University when the program first began.
Coached by Golden, Rigney became a split end and said choosing to play at Framingham State football was a “no brainer” when the opportunity arose.
“It was such a great experience to be on something for the very first time. We had a great group of guys. The coaching was fantastice we learned a lot, it was a lot of work but a lot of fun,” said Rigney.
Gerry Cosby, who graduated in1981, was a wide receiver for the Rams. He played football all throughout high school and all four years at the University.
Cosby said despite him not having a specific memory off the top of his head, the people he met there and the lifelong friendships that came with it is something he will always be grateful for.
Matthew Barsclass, who graduated in 1976, was on the team for three years as a defensive back. He said coming to this event reminded him to appreciate and savor these moments.
“As much as I love the sport, it’s really the guys. My teammates. My coaches. Everything,” he said. “When you get down to it is a people business, if you don’t enjoy the people you’re with there’s only two reasons to do it: You either have to do it or you want to do it. And if you like the people you are with, it’s always easier to like it.
Despite not playing for Framingham State, Dennis J. Golden, son of Dennis C. Golden, happily took over the position as the water boy of the team while his father coached on the sidelines.
He said it meant everything to him and he couldn’t have asked for a better childhood experience than to be around the program.
“As a young kid, I got to be around the players, and coaches and just loved hearing and learning from them. Everyday was like Christmas going into practices and games,” he said.
Dennis J. Golden acknowledged the program his father has brought together to create such an important legacy for the community of Framingham.
One of the most important lessons the alumni of Framingham State all agreed they have learned from Dennis C. Golden himself: You learn how to handle success, and you learn how to handle failure, and what’s most important is how you respond to that failure.
Danielle Achin is a fall 2022 SOURCE intern. She is a senior English major with a concentration in journalism and a minor in psychology at Framingham State University. Danielle has been an athlete since she started gymnastics at age 4. She joined the Framingham State cheerleading team freshman year and recently won the 2022 National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) National Championship for the first time in Framingham State history. She is also one of the Sports editors for Framingham State’s student newspaper The Gatepost.