South Yarmouth, MA—Ten years ago, Paul Funk, Wakefield High School Class of 1989, was an assistant coach under John DiBiaso in Everett. During his time with the Crimson Tide, Funk was part of four Division I Superbowl Teams and captured the title in 1997 and 1999. He was the position coach for Omar Easy and Diamond Ferri. Easy went on to Penn State and played for the Kansas City Chiefs, while Ferri played for Syracuse and the Arizona Cardinals. Life was treating the former Middlesex League All-Star well.
In the spring of 2001, Funk was hired as the head coach at Dennis-Yarmouth High School on Cape Cod. Needless to say, the Dolphins were a far cry from the powerhouse that Funk helped to build in Everett. The Dolphins were faced with dwindling numbers and had dropped their status to Junior Varsity. Funk recalled, “When I took over the program in June of 2001 the school and administration were so distraught over what had gone wrong with the football program for the past 40 years.” The school was contemplating cutting the program entirely after only winning six games from 1991-1999. Funk jokes, “After all the losing, there was no pressure on us….all we could do was go up!”
Fast forward nine years to this past fall. Funk led his team to an Atlantic Coast League Championship and post-season berth. The post-season berth was the first in the school’s history. The team finished 10-2 and lost to Duxbury in the Division 2A MIAA Playoffs. Duxbury went on to win the Superbowl at Gillette Stadium.
Since taking over in 2001, Funk’s teams are 58-37-1 and have won eight consecutive Thanksgiving Games. They won a share of the ACL title in 2007 with a 10-1 record, but due to tie-breaker rules were left out of the playoffs. In 2007, Funk was named Coach of the Year by the Boston Globe, WATD Coach of the Year and Southeastern Massachusetts Official’s Coach of the Year. This past season, the Boston Herald and Dan Ventura named his the Division 2A Coach of the Year.
In 2003 the school administration found it fit to name Funk the Dolphins head baseball coach. He has a career record of 99-73, with four ACL Championships and trips to the MIAA State Tournament in seven out of the last 8 years.
Prior to becoming one of the Cape’s most well respected coaches, Funk was a three sport star at Wakefield High School playing football, hockey and baseball. Paul was the 1988 MVP in football and was named a Middlesex League All-Star that season as well. He participated in the Shriner’s All-Star Football Classic and the Harry Agganis All-Star game in the summer of 1989.
As good as Funk was on Landrigan Field for the Warriors, he best sport was by far baseball. Paul was a three year starter for the Warriors at shortstop. He was a Captain of the 1989 squad that was the last Wakefield High School Team to win the Middlesex League Championship by finishing 19-4. He was selected as a Middlesex League All-Star for his accomplishments.
After graduating from Wakefield, Funk attended the University of Connecticut on a baseball scholarship. He was a four year starter for the Huskies at shortstop and finished his career as the all-time leader in assists, top five in games played, top five in walks and second in single season assists. He was the starting shortstop for UConn’s first Big East Championship Team in 1990 and played in two NCAA Division I Regional’s as part of the College World Series. For his accomplishments Funk was named the Mary Dropo Unsung Hero Award by the University.
Since graduating from Wakefield, Paul Funk has made quite a name for himself as both an athlete and coach. Funk recently reflected on his time at Wakefield by saying, “Wakefield treated me very well. I always try to check in with Matt Chase (former teammate and current assistant coach with Wakefield) and see how the team is doing. It is always fun to get back to Wakefield and see old friends.”