UMass Hall Of Famer Ray Ellerbrook Passes Away
Sept. 19, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. - Former University of Massachusetts two-sport star Ray Ellerbrook passed away Wednesday night. Ellerbrook, 65, died at his Pioneer Knolls home with his wife, Wendy, their two sons, Mike and Tom, and other family members and friends gathered around.
A two-time All-Yankee Conference selection in basketball (1969 and 1970), Ellerbrook was a third-team All-New England selection in 1968-69. He was also a two-time All-Yankee Conference selection in baseball (1969 and 1970) and an honorable mention All-New England and All-Northeast second team selection in 1970.
A member of the basketball team that captured three straight Yankee Conference titles (1968-70), Ellerbrook was the captain of the 1969-70 squad that advanced to the National Invitation Tournament for the first time in school history. Ellerbrook scored 1,224 career points in three seasons, which currently ranks 22nd on the all-time chart.
At the time of his graduation he ranked second in career assists, fourth in points, third in field goal attempts and sixth in scoring. His 16.5 points per game ranked ninth on the all-timelist while his 1,156 career field goal attempts were 10th.
In baseball, Ellerbrook played first base and posted a career batting average of .299. He was a member of the 1969 squad that captured the Yankee Conference title and advanced to the College World Series, upsetting No. 1 Southern Illinois, 2-0. Ellerbrook was the Samuel S. Crossman Two-Sport Athlete Award winner in 1970.
Ellerbrook, who was the first member of his family to attend college, graduated from UMass in 1970. The Hawthorne, N.J. native also graduated from Hawthorne HS.
Ellerbrook was inducted into the UMass Athletic Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 1998. The six-member class that year also included Dick Bergquist (baseball) and Jack Leaman (basketball) - his two coaches during his time at UMass.
His wife swam at UMass and Tom was a catcher for the Minutemen.
He worked for the Northampton Recreation Department for 28 years before spending a decade as the executive director for Look Memorial Park. He retired from the park position on Dec. 31, 2012.
In 1999, the Daily Hampshire Gazette named him one of the top 25 local athletes over the last 100 years. The Ray Ellerbrook Athletic Fields were dedicated on June 13, 2009 in Northampton. He was also enshrined into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
Calling hours will be Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. at Czelusniak Funeral Home, 173 North St. in Northampton. A celebration of Ellerbrook's life will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at the Ray Ellerbrook Athletic Field at 48 Burts Pit Road.
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