File this one under, another Lowell Connection.
I am about half way through a book by David Halberstam titled The Education of a Coach. The book chronicles Patriots’ head-coach Bill Belichick and the people and events that shaped his successful career in professional football. It is a fascinating account of what it takes to make it to the top as an NFL coach. Halberstam especially emphasizes the many people that influenced Belichick in his early years. One such mentor mentioned in the book is the late Steve Sorota of Lowell. Sorota coached Belichick in football during his days at Philips Academy in Andover. Sorota was known for his calm, rational approach to the game and the respect he gave his players, characteristics discernible in the now legendary New England coach today. I was intrigued by the Lowell/Belichick connection so I google Sorota’s name.
Here is what I found:
From the Lowell High School Athletic Hall of Fame
STEPHEN S. SOROTA
Class of 1931
Inducted in 1988
Through his efforts as both a player and a coach, Steve Sorota’s name has been etched into the athletic histories not only of Lowell High School but also of Fordham University and Phillips Andover Academy.
At Lowell High School Steve was one of the many three-sport athletes of his era. He starred as football running back under Coach Joe Nolan. He was an outstanding weight man for the Red & Gray Track Team, establishing a state record in the discus. In 1931, Steve also performed on the Lowell High Baseball Team. He received the outstanding scholar athlete award at graduation in 1931.
Steve went on to Fordham University to become a three-year, sixty minute per game starter for the Iron Major, Coach Frank Cavanaugh. Steve was named Fordham MVP in the 1933 contest against Boston College.
After graduation, Steve became football and track coach at Phillips Andover Academy, coaching both sports from 1936–1978.
His football teams compiled an impressive 162–90–10 record, including six undefeated seasons. His track teams won numerous major championships, including the New England Prep School title. Steve was also a respected speaker at various track and football clinics nationwide throughout his career. His forty-three years of dedication to the young men of Phillips Andover earned him induction into both the Mass. State Football and Track Coaches Halls of Fame.