Brockton High School

Brockton High School, established in 1870, is a high school located in Brockton, Massachusetts. It is a part of Brockton Public Schools. As of 2016 Brockton High School, with 4,250 students, is one of the largest high schools in the United States and the largest high school in Massachusetts.[3] Although widely stated by locals to be the largest high school East of the Mississippi River, it is in fact false, as this title is currently held by Brooklyn Technical High School in New York City.[4] Brockton High School's colors are Black & Red and their mascot is the Boxers, which is a reference to the storied boxing history of the city, and also a tribute to hall-of-fame boxers Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler, who are both from Brockton and alumni of Brockton High School.[5]

Brockton High School
470 Forest Avenue


United States
Coordinates42°4′5″N 71°2′39″W / 42.06806°N 71.04417°W / 42.06806; -71.04417Coordinates: 42°4′5″N 71°2′39″W / 42.06806°N 71.04417°W / 42.06806; -71.04417
School typePublic High School
Open enrollment[1]
School districtBrockton Public Schools
PrincipalDr. Clifford Murray
Faculty243.21 (FTE)[2]
Enrollment4,123 (2017–18)[2]
Student to teacher ratio16.95[2]
Color(s)Black & Red          
AthleticsMIAA - Division 1
Athletics conferenceBig Three Conference
RivalsDurfee, New Bedford, Bridgewater-Raynham, Taunton, Waltham


When Brockton High was established, it could house only 125 students. As the population of Brockton grew, there was increasing demand for a larger building. In 1906, a new high school was constructed, consisting of an "A" building and a "B" building. By the 1960s, student numbers exceeded capacity, causing split sessions; upper classmen and sophomores attended school at different times of the day. The sophomores attended in the afternoon while the upperclassman took their classes in the morning. In 1965, the City Council Finance Committee approved an $8 million proposal to construct a new high school to accommodate the swelling student body. In 1965, the ground for the new building was broken and in 1970, the school was complete. The "A" building has since been torn down, and the "B" building currently houses charter and alternative high school programs. Currently there are about 4,250 students housed in the nine buildings which comprise the current high school; the campus is approximately the size of an aircraft carrier (1/3 mile long) and has 13.5 acres (55,000 m2) of floor space, about half the size of the Prudential Center in Boston.[1]

Nahyo M. Kim of The New York Times wrote that in a period around 10 years before 2010, Brockton High "was a case study in failure" everyone just kept failing for no apparent reason.[3] At that time the school's unofficial motto was "students have a right to fail if they want".[3] Around 1999 the school set up a reform plan, using the skill areas of reading, reasoning, speaking, and writing and using them in the school's curriculum. By 2001 student performance improved. Susan Szachowicz, the former principal, said that the school culture and large size was crucial to the school's turnaround. This occurred in a period when education advocates promoted small schools.[6]


Brockton High School is set on a small urban campus comprising eight buildings including four main student academic buildings divided by colors (Green, Red, Azure, Yellow) a core connecting them all and a gym and fine arts building. The campus also does feature a turf football stadium, ice skating rink, 25-yard swimming pool, 1608-seat capacity auditorium, four cafeterias in the respective buildings.

The current Brockton High School campus was state of the art for its time when it first opened in 1970, for it featured a modern greenhouse, a modern public address system, and a high-tech TV studio (redone in 2003.) It also has the original fire alarm system from 1970, which is still in use as of 2016.


In 1999, 75% of its students failed Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) mathematics examinations and 44% failed MCAS English examinations.[6] Around that period, about 1/3 of students of each Brockton class dropped out.[3] By 2001, student performance improved.[6] Between 2000 and 2001, more students went from failing to passing at Brockton High than at any other school in Massachusetts.[3]

In 2005, 98% of the senior class (850 students) graduated. In 2008 78% of the graduating senior class planned to pursue a college degree.[citation needed] In 2006, Brockton High School was a recipient of the National School Change Award.[citation needed] Brockton High School was one of 7 schools in the United States to receive this award. Out of the seven schools, there were only two high schools.[citation needed]

In 2008, Brockton students had a higher level of improvement on the English MCAS than 90% of the Massachusetts high schools. By 2010 it was one of the highest performing schools on the MCAS.[6]


As of 2016, the school had approximately 4,250 students. The high school is 60.9% African American, 20.8% White, 2.5% Asian, 12.3% Hispanic, and 3.5% other. In 2016 it was made so everyone could get free lunch. Out of its 4,250 students, 2,161 are male and 2,089 are female.


Brockton High is quite well known for its athletics, especially football. The football program is regarded as one of the most storied, successful, and dominant high school football programs of all-time.


The Boxers have had exponential success since they first fielded a team in 1897. Listed below is a compilation of the Boxers' football accomplishments.

  • Since the football teams' inaugural season in 1897, they have achieved 17 undefeated seasons, as well as achieving 15 one-loss seasons.
  • Since 1972, the football team has made 17 appearances in the MIAA Division 1 State Championship game, winning it 11 times. (1972, 1973, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 2004, 2005).
  • The Boxers have also won 1 MSSPA State Championship (1948), and 2 MIAC State Championships (1960, 1970); bringing their total number of state championships to 14.
  • In 1948, the Boxers played in a post-season game against Miami Edison High School, which would determine the mythical high school national championship. The Boxers won with ease, defeating the Florida powerhouse school by a score of 34-0.
  • From 1979-1992, Brockton was one of the most dominant high school football teams in the country. During this 14-year period, the Boxers' won 6 state championships, won 11 league championships, had 3 undefeated seasons, and had 8 one-loss seasons. The Boxers' record during this period was 118-14-0. They are regarded as one of the greatest high school football programs of the 1980s.

Football Accomplishments

  • National Championships (1) - 1948[7]
  • State Championships (14) - 1948, 1960, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 2004, 2005
  • State Finalists (11) - 1950, 1958, 1959, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2012
  • Undefeated seasons (17) - 1899, 1900, 1924, 1932, 1936, 1937, 1939, 1945, 1958, 1959, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1984, 1985, 1987, 2005
  • One-loss seasons (15) - 1897, 1918, 1921, 1930, 1938, 1948, 1960, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992

Notable Accomplishments

  • The football team has made USA Today's Top 25 list a total of 4 times. In 1984 (#7), 1985 (#9), 1987 (#5), and 1988 (#17).
  • Over 20 players from Brockton have played in the NFL, including Ken MacAfee, Greg McMurtry, Rudy Harris and Al Louis-Jean.
  • Brockton is the 14th winningest high school football program in the country.

Armond Colombo, who coached at Brockton for 34 years (1969–2002), is the 2nd winningest head coach in Massachusetts history, behind only Ken LaChapelle of Northbridge High School. Colombo retired as head coach in 2002 with an overall record of 316-100-5.[8] Before Colombo arrived in Brockton in 1969, he was the head coach at nearby Archbishop Williams from 1955-1968. At the school, he led the Bishops to five catholic Conference titles and three Massachusetts Class D State Championship. Colombo amassed 96 wins as the head coach of Archbiship Williams, and 220 wins as the head coach of Brockton.[9]

Other sportsEdit

The school's mascot is the Boxer. The actual mascot is a dog, but the name is a pun in reference to Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler, two famous boxers from Brockton. The stadium in which the Boxers' football, field hockey, soccer and outdoor track teams compete is named Rocky Marciano Stadium in honor of the legendary boxer. With a capacity of approximately 10,000 people, Marciano Stadium is one of the largest high school stadiums in Massachusetts and is one of the premier facilities in the state as well. The stadium also plays host to numerous Massachusetts high school football state playoff games, including the sectional and regional finals.

The BHS baseball team plays at Campanelli Stadium, constructed in 2002, which also plays host to the amateur baseball team, the Brockton Rox, of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.

In 2012, a nearly 30-foot tall bronze statue of Rocky Marciano was erected outside the north end of the stadium as a tribute to the legendary boxer.[10]

Clubs and activitiesEdit

There is a club for most of the cultures that are within the student body (cape-verdian club, Haitian club.....) There are also a number of programs students can join, (Key Club, Nerd Club, peer mediation, student council, yearbook committee)

Music DepartmentEdit

The music department consists of a concert band and advanced concert band,a jazz ensemble, wind ensemble, marching band, a repertory choir and concert choir, an acapella jazz/pop group called Brockappella, show choir called Harmonics, and a Chamber Singers group.

In 2006, the BHS Wind Ensemble competed in the Music Festival's competition in Virginia. They were awarded first place.[citation needed]

In 2010, both the BHS Wind Ensemble and BHS Advanced Jazz Band competed in the Music Festival's competition in Virginia. Both were awarded first place.

In 2012, both the BHS Wind Ensemble and BHS Jazz Band competed in Festival of Music's competition in New York City. Both were awarded first place with a superior rating. Brockton High School also won the Best Overall Concert Band Award and the Best Overall Jazz Band Award.

In June 2014, the concert choir collaborated with the famed rock band Foreigner at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in Boston, MA. They performed one of their most well known hits: I Want To Know What Love Is.

In 2016, both the BHS Wind Ensemble and BHS Jazz Band competed in Festival of Music's competition in New York City. Both were awarded first place with a superior rating. Brockton High School also won the Best Overall Concert Band Award and the Best Overall Jazz Band Award.

In 2018, both the BHS Wind Ensemble and BHS Jazz Band competed in Festival of Music's competition in Washington, D. C.. Both were awarded first place with a superior rating. Brockton High School also won the Best Overall Jazz Band Award and a professionalism award. A fifth award, “Outstanding Jazz Section,” was given to honor the seven-piece ensemble that performed a Dixieland number.

JROTC-Boxer BattalionEdit

The Army JROTC battalion held 2 state champion drill teams. They are the current holder of the Governors Cup and regional champions. On October 14, 2010 the JROTC Boxer Battalion won the 'Honor Unit with Distinction' award for the Second Time.

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c "Brockton High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e Dillon, Sam. "4,100 Students Prove ‘Small Is Better’ Rule Wrong." (also "4,100 Massachusetts Students Prove Small Isn’t Always Better") The New York Times. September 27, 2010. Retrieved on September 28, 2013.
  4. ^ "National Center for Educational Statistics - School Directory Information 2011-2012".
  5. ^ Winokoor, Charles. "Brockton bad rap not fair?". The Taunton Gazette. The Taunton Gazette. Retrieved January 5, 2006.[dead link]
  6. ^ a b c d "Core Skills, Not MCAS, Turned Brockton High Around Archived 2013-12-04 at the Wayback Machine." (also "Inside Brockton High School's Turnaround") WGBH. October 7, 2010. Retrieved on September 28, 2013.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-06. Retrieved 2016-03-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Boxer Football History". Archived from the original on 2012-12-02. Retrieved 2013-08-06.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-02-26. Retrieved 2016-03-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Jim Varsallone (April 3, 2014). "Dark Journey leads to bright times". Miami Herald. The McClatchy Company. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  12. ^ Greg Oliver (May 3, 2012). "Dark Journey's big comeback". The McClatchy Company. Retrieved January 8, 2017.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit