Men's Basketball

Former Merrimack basketball coach Bert Hammel passes away


Former Merrimack men’s basketball head coach Bert Hammel has died, The Mack Report has learned. Hammel was the head coach of the Warriors for 36 years, up until 2016.

He was a legendary coach at Merrimack College, winning 526 games in 36 seasons (1980-81 through 2015-16). The school renamed the court in his honor.

The former Bentley star (Class of ‘73) from Long Island loved his players, his family and the youths from the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club.

His work with the area youth was the stuff of legend. He founded the Academic Basketball Awareness at Merrimack and over the decades touched the lives of thousands of Lawrence youth through two things he knew best: tough love and basketball.

Just this past January, he was named Eagle-Tribune Sportsman of the Year.

Hammel suffered a near fatal heart attack a little over a year ago. He was given “a 10 percent” chance of recovery but made an impressive recovery.

We’ll have more info on Hammel’s services when they become available. The Mack Report offers our deepest condolences to Hammel’s wife, Jill, as well as his daughter Alexandria and his sons Lucas and Cooper.

About Mike McMahon

Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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  1. Anonymous

    October 7, 2018 at 7:05 am

    Great story, thank you for sharing .I worked with him for 35 years at the college. And was his bus driver for his team for 18 years all over New England. He was a great man .
    That is a great loss . What a Shame. 😪

  2. sscott

    October 8, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    A great dude passed on. The work he did at the boys club in lawrence was inspiring. Big Heart and enthusiasm.Bert was a very important person in my life.

    My daughter is a student at Merrimack partly because of him.

    Rest on, Coach. Your work will be missed.

    Please announce any services in his honor, if possible. Thank you.

  3. Mary C. Smith

    October 9, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Bert was not only my son’s Head Coach at Merrimack. He was a Mentor a friend and much more! I will forever be grateful for Coach did for our Son & Our Family. R.I.P. Coach! Thank you.

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