Belmont Girls’ Hoop Coach Hart Fired

Photo: Belmont High Girls’ Basketball Head Coach Melissa Hart working the sideline at the TD Bank Garden.

Melissa Hart, who led her alma mater’s girls’ basketball team for the past 11 years, will not have her contract extended for the 2022-3 year.

In a brief conversation, Hart said she was informed on Monday, March 28, by Adam Pritchard, the acting athletic director, that she would not be returning. Hart said the action came as a surprise to her as there was no indication of problems with her coaching or the program. She sent private emails to players and parents on the matter.

Pritchard did not respond to a request for comment.

Born and raised in Belmont, Hart was the starting senior goalkeeper on the 1985 state girls’ soccer championship team. She was a three-sport star at Hamilton College where she still holds records in women’s basketball.

Hart came to Belmont after coaching soccer and basketball at MIT and before that at Emerson. After missing the state tournament for six years, Belmont Girls’ under Hart’s coaching would go on an impressive run reaching three North Sectional finals and two semifinals from 2015-19. In 2019, Hart’s team was undefeated in the Middlesex League and finishing the season at 19-1 while being ranked the number one team in Eastern Mass by the Boston Globe. Including making the playoffs in 2020, the Belmont hoopsters put together an 88-32 record over six seasons.

Hart is the second long-time coach to leave the high school athletics program as Paul Graham is no longer the girls’ soccer coach after more than three decades at the helm.

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  1. Disheartened Belmont Resident says

    This can’t be happening! Coach Hart is an incredible leader, a native Belmont treasure, an inspiration to all of the women she has coached and women everywhere. Please remember only recently we were celebrating Coach Hart as one of a few female coaches leading their team to the semis. We can’t afford to lose Coach Hart.
    Please investigate further to find out the real story behind this despicable rogue action! Something very bad happened here and justice needs to be served.
    Where is the rest of this story and who is behind this?

  2. Kellie Ryan says

    Shameful!! This is a huge mistake by Mr Pritchard. Such a disservice to the student female athletes at Belmont High that will not get the opportunity to learn and grow through the guidance of a tremendous teacher, coach and role model.

  3. Thomas Blake says

    This is a disgrace. Belmont Girls’ Basketball had its best run in decades under Melissa Hart. Belmont seems to have a habit of unloading popular teachers / coaches with no explanation. Was Ms. Hart given an explanation from Mr. Pritchard? If she said she was “surprised”, it doesn’t look like she had an inkling that this was coming, which only makes one wonder all the more what is going on? Some disgruntled parent whose daughter wasn’t getting enough playing time?

    • Stephen Conley says

      Huge loss. This program is in much better shape than when she took over. She cared about the kids. And when that gets overlooked as the MOST important aspect of the job, we as a town have issues. I had first hand experience seeing how she carried herself and how she treated the program. Suffice to say, I think this is a disservice to the program and the job.

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