“Chris really has kept up an impossible standard,” reflected former coach Michael Abraham about Chris Bacich, his successor as Green Wave boys’ cross country coach. It might fairly be said, the now 20-year head coach has even raised that standard.
Echoes of greatness reverberate around the Green Wave boys’ cross country team. From legendary AHOF inductee Russell Devin, the program’s founder in the early 1950s, all the way through coach Mike Abraham’s strong tenure, NMHS had excelled in the sport.
When Chris Bacich joined the team as a volunteer coach in the fall of 1998, his intensity, combined with a desire to make it fun for the student-athletes, almost immediately upped the ante, helping the Green Wave soar to a state ‘L’ title in 2002.
With the two men sharing the helm as co-coaches in the fall of 2003 and 2004, the Green Wave raced to South-West Conference, state and New England championships.
Since Mike Abraham officially stepped down before the 2005 season, Chris Bacich has guided his finely honed runners to 13 more SWC titles in 18 seasons, as well as five more state class banners and another state open championship.
Coach Bacich’s SWC dual-meet record is an astounding 241-13. Forty-three individuals have earned all-SWC first-team honors while running for Chris, 25 of them have gone on to claim all-state laurels, and five have been accorded all-New England honors.
His predecessor described Chris Bacich as being “a very bright individual who has a nice way of relating with athletes. He can talk to the kids about their running, and also discover their interests, and he has a great sense of humor.”
There seems to be no sign of a letup in the Green Wave’s prowess.
“Even in years when the numbers are slightly lower,” explained Mike Abraham. “Chris’ teams will not consider the idea that they aren’t in the running for the conference championship and more.”