By MICHAEL LETENDRE
Since 1979, Tony Floyd has been putting together some of the best girls varsity basketball programs in Central Connecticut – teams that eventually excelled at the state level, winning multiple championships.
And 38 years into his coaching tenure, Floyd will be inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame on April 18.
An overdue nomination, Floyd has amassed 543 wins over the years – placing him in the top seven in the Connecticut in all-time girls coaching victories.
He’s been a model coach for nearly four decades in Bristol, who instills hard wood, discipline, respect, and a love for the game into every player who passes through his program.
Floyd has four state championships on his resume, including three titles from 1986-1991.
During the 1989-90 and 1990-91 campaigns, Floyd led the Lancers to back-to-back championships, guiding the program to a combined record of 46-3.
The 1986-87 champs, led by former University of Connecticut standouts Laura Lishness and Kathy Ferrier, won 24 of 25 games as the program earned its second title in school history.
Since the 1995-96 campaign, Eastern has not missed the postseason and only twice did his squads not take a part in state tournament play. After his first season, his squad was playoff bound in all but one campaign.
Floyd led the Eastern program to 21 or more victories in a season on six different occasions and coached numerous All-State and All-Conference players over his 847 scholastic games.
He’s mentored three Gatorade Players of the Year and a few High School All-Americans as well.
Under his leadership, several of his girls became All-City and All Conference standouts and excelled at the collegiate level.
Along with that success, Floyd has added several honors over the years to his growing resume.
In 1990, he received the Coordinator of the Year Award for his work in the Nutmeg State Games and one year later, Floyd was named Outstanding Coach of Girls Basketball by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association.
In 1997, Floyd picked up the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame Chuck McCarthy Award and in 2000, he was selected as the New England National High School Coach of the Year.
Outside of basketball, he’s been the long time girls track and field coach at Eastern and coached football at the school during the 1980’s.
Floyd has also been the director and coach of the AAU Connecticut Bandits since 1996.
The long time mentor is a physical education teacher at Bristol Eastern High School.
The Coach Floyd File – Statistics and other numbers…
*All-time Record: 543-304 in 847 games
*Winning Percentage: 64.1 percent
*State Championship Campaigns: 1982-83 (Class LL), 1986-87 (Class L), 1989-90 (Class LL), and 1990-91 (Class LL)
*From 1980-1989, the decade of the ‘80s, Floyd went 150-51 in 201 scholastic games, winning two state titles along the way (74.6 percent winning clip).
*Won his first state championship four years into the job, guiding the Lancers to an 18-5 record in 1982-83 after winning just six games his first year into things.
The group of individuals that Floyd will be inducted with at the up-coming ceremony includes the following:
CT Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame – 2018 Inductees
Barbara H. Thaxton (Coach)
Cindi Birdsey (Referee)
Tony Floyd (Bristol Eastern High School)
Heather Buck (UCONN)
Sarah Royals (Torrington High School)
Melissa Teel (Western CT State University)
Ann Kirwin Anderson (Bucknell)
Here are some of Floyd’s highlights from the official release from the CT Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame website:
In 1979, Athletic Director, Joann Galati, hired Tony Floyd to replace her as the girls’ basketball coach at Bristol Eastern High School. Eastern’s girls’ basketball program was founded and brought to prominence by Galati. It’s very clear, all these years later, that she couldn’t have found anyone more dedicated to the team than Floyd,
“Joann was a teacher and the girls’ basketball coach while I attended high school,” said Tony, a 1974 Bristol Eastern graduate, who is still the head coach of the Lancers. “She hired me to succeed her as the coach, and as a teacher … jobs I still currently perform after more than 35 years. She has had a great influence on my teaching and coaching careers.”
His 500th win, a 58-36 victory over Berlin on Feb. 13, 2015, made him the ninth girls’ basketball coach in state history to reach that milestone. Under his leadership, the Lancers have won the Central Connecticut Conference Southern Division 10 times and captured the CCC tournament title in 1998. In both 1987 and 1991, the Lancers were ranked the No. 1 team in the state by the Hartford Courant, in addition to being ranked 13th in the nation, by USA Today, following the 1987 season.
Floyd has accomplished so much at his alma mater. As a student at Bristol Eastern, Tony competed in football, basketball and was a record-setting hurdler for the track team. He later played football and basketball at Mattatuck Community College.
“Rex Hamilton, at the Bristol Boys’ Club, first introduced me to an organized Biddy Basketball league. Johnie Floyd gave me my first exposure to higher levels of basketball, bringing me to see college, pro and high school games,” Tony said, mentioning two Bristol fixtures. “… My mission is to positively impact the student-athletes’ interscholastic experience, and to prepare them by developing their full potential for success, both on and off the court.”
Tony has been active in the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of America, the Nutmeg State Games, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and he served on the Nike/WBCA committee, which selects high school All-Americans in girls’ basketball. In 2001, he was honored by the NAACP for outstanding leadership in the field of education.
Winning the 1983 state championship, in just his fourth season as head coach, is Tony’s fondest basketball memory. A resident of Avon, he enjoys basketball, football, softball, playing the drums and listening to rhythm and blues and jazz music.
The banquet will be held on Wednesday, April 18 at Cascade Fine Catering, 480 Sherman Ave in Hamden. Cocktails are at 6 p.m. with the dinner to follow at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $50 per person that includes complimentary wine.