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.