An Old Rochester hockey career comes full circle

Dec 29, 2019

Ted Drew’s life-long passion for coaching hockey has now come full circle, as the former player has returned to his hometown high school for his first season as head coach of the Old Rochester Regional girls hockey team.

Drew started coaching the sport he loves at just 10-years-old, when he helped his father coach his younger brother’s youth team. 

Since then he has accumulated years of experience coaching both boys and girls at the youth and high school levels. In addition to hockey, he has also coached soccer and softball. 

Most recently, he was an assistant coach for the boys team at Plymouth North High School, alongside his brother Tim, who is head coach there.

While he might not be working with his family this season, Drew’s new role has no shortage of a sense of belonging.

“I’m really happy to be wearing the red and white again,” said the 1981 alum.

Originally from Wareham, Drew moved to Rochester when he was in the seventh grade. He went to ORR, where he played hockey and met his wife Brooke.

The two started dating in high school, and married soon after, in September of 1982.

His daughters Samantha and Emily also studied and played soccer at ORR. 

His wife was also a student-athlete at the school, playing soccer and field hockey. Drew said she was also happy about his return to ORR, since, “she is [his] biggest fan” and that he’s lucky to have her support.

The tri-town native now calls Mattapoisett home, and joked about having ties to all three of the small towns. “I grew up in Rochester just to marry a Marion girl and move to Mattapoisett,” he said.

He also described the area as “a great place to bring kids up,” and said the current Athletic Director Bill Tilden has done a great job of running the school’s athletic programs.

 Although he’s won several championships over the years, Drew’s biggest focus as a coach isn’t winning games.

“Once you play for me, you’re part of my family,” he said. 

For Drew, helping kids make friends and memories, as well as becoming better adults is the biggest goal of his coaching career.

While Drew has coached multiple sports, he said “the hockey community, to me, is a special community.” 

A few years ago, Drew was coaching a team of ten to twelve-year-old girls during a stressful time in his life. 

His youngest daughter Emily was sick while pregnant with his grandson Benjamin.

Emily was far away in North Carolina, and had to be taken to the hospital to be induced.

Although he did his best to keep his composure during the game, his niece (who played on the team) told other players what was going on. Without any suggestions from adults, the young athletes took a heartwarming stand for their coach. The girls waited in the lobby of Hetland Arena in New Bedford after the game until Drew got a phone call saying his daughter was okay, and gave birth. 

When the team got the good news, they cheered so loud that the manager of the ice rink came over to find out what was going on. 

Drew said that this is a moment he will never forget. 

In his new role at his old school, Drew looks to bring a more upbeat, and aggressive style of play than the team has used in the past. The team had a slow start due to their home rink at Tabor Academy being unavailable for the first couple weeks of the season. Since then, the Bulldogs have gone 2-2 in the last week.   

With a new style of play, new coach, and a co-op team with girls from other area high schools, Drew hopes to bring everything together as the season continues, and make it to the state tournament.