Rectory School's Athletic Wall of Honor is the highest athletic honor bestowed by the School . Rectory School's Wall of Honor honors former Rectory student-athletes, coaches, administrators, trainers, and special contributors whose contributions and accomplishments have brought prestige and honor to Rectory School and its athletic program. All nominees to the Wall of Honor must be individuals of outstanding quality, high moral character, and fine leadership qualities and must be held in high esteem by their colleagues, coaches and athletes.
The award was first introduced this spring year on Alumni Weekend. There were two recipients, Coach Brad Seward and Athlete Dante Milligan '99. Here is the speech Fred Williams gave for Brad Seaward.
"I started my career at the Fenn School where I was mentored by Reid Albright, a man I believed to have been the most beloved educator I have ever worked with. That belief held true until I arrived at Rectory School and met Brad Seaward. It was always my hope that Brad would—as he has done with the other Rectory headmasters—outlast me on this campus. I sure didn't want to be the one standing before you attempting to encapsulate all his four decades have meant to our school and trying to fathom Rectory without Brad Seaward. Regrettably, that will not be the case as Mr. Seaward retires from full-time work at Rectory effective this June. And while he protests any events the celebrate his tenure on our campus, I am fighting for every opportunity to recognize him for the incredible gifts he has given our community and most importantly our students.
Mr. Seaward is unique in many ways, just ask Mrs. Seaward about that. Who else would open his home to students at all hours on all days? Who else would continue exercising multiple times a day after having different parts of his body rebuilt several times? Who else could exude such energy on a dance floor? And who else could ever appeal to such a broad and diverse student fan base? The scholars, the artists, the day, international, and domestic students all consider him their favorite. And for good reason. Mr. Seaward has excelled in every setting his professional duties have taken him be it in the classroom, administrative office, dormitory, laundry room, dining hall, or other. But tonight we highlight one of his most notable of roles—coach. As he becomes our first inductee into Rectory School's newly established Athletic Wall of Honor.
When I was Rectory age I believed I would one day play for the Red Sox and Bruins in the same year while adding a Wimbledon championship to boot. As far-fetched as I now realize that fantasy was, many of our Rectory students house similar dreams and define themselves – regardless of ability – by a favorite sport. For many middle school students, the sports venues are where they experience their greatest joys and some of their most important life lessons. These are settings where students learn the value of hard work, the importance of team, how to win and lose with dignity, and how to enjoy sports as just plain fun regardless of ability. Nobody shapes these experiences better than Coach Seaward.
One look at my frame and you can rightfully presume I am not the most fleet of foot. Sports for me needed to involve a ball, a goal, and ideally a degree of physical contact. So was I ever shocked to learn my first year at Rectory that over 50 students signed up for cross country. And 45 of them actually ran! What could the draw possibly be? The answer has become imminently clear: Coach Seaward. Watching him across the years, I have so admired the way he treats every participant with the same enthusiasm, encouragement, and respect whether they are challenging the course record or just trying to finish the race. An accomplished runner himself who has competed in over 30 marathons and would run another one tomorrow if he could, Coach Seaward has the incredible ability to train a broad range of athletes. His top runners have gone on to impressive high school and college careers while those who signed up just for the freeze pops and some afternoon time with Mr. Sea improved their personal times significantly across a season. Regardless of what category they fall in to, all will remember running for Mr. Seaward.
Spring, outside of a few seasons on the tennis court, found Mr. Seaward on the diamond where his talents – he was inducted into the Rhode Island High School Hall of Fame for baseball – and his passion for the game brought uncountable victories to the Rectory team. On the field, Coach Seaward would multi-task carrying on conversations with umpires, parents, and opposing players all at the same time, and all while encouraging our Rectory athletes to do their best. Leading up to these games, Coach Seaward answered every call for more batting practice, extra infield ground balls, and additional time just talking about a game he loved with those who love him.
Coach Seaward's greatest mark on Rectory's athletic program, however, came in the winter when the Wolves took the basketball court. Watching as a fan, Coach Seaward made it look so easy. Of course, it didn't hurt that half of Rectory's starting line up could dunk and the other half shot the lights out with three's. But the competition was also impressive and while Coach Seaward would always underplay his role, the Rectory team succeeded due to coaching. Brad still possesses the best shot in the gym, but more importantly, he possesses the ability to bring a group of alpha males together to work in support of the team. This success does not come without work. The amount of time Coach Seaward spends with parents on the phone and players in the gym seeking extra hours of court time is incredible. Add to this the team bonding sessions that take place in his home, usually with monkey bread on the table and Just Dance on the Wii, and you begin to get a sense of the full extent of the job – the way Coach Seaward does it.
Across three seasons and forty-three years, Coach Seaward has exemplified all that is great about middle school athletics. Don't get me wrong, he plays to win and can remember all of his most painful losses, though these are so far overshadowed by so many impressive victories. But he never let his desire for a win outweigh his duty to make sports a fun and rewarding experience for his athletes and even his non-athletes.
There is no greater athletic honor at Rectory than to play for Coach Seaward. We hope this acknowledgment tonight lets him know how much we appreciate the effort, the wisdom, the compassion, the inspiration, the man. Congratulations and thank you, Coach Seaward."