MOUNT DESERT — Bernard “Bunny” Parady left his mark on the Mount Desert Island High School athletic community, figuratively and quite literally – the gymnasium is named in his honor. Next month, his list of honors will grow as he will be inducted posthumously into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
Parady served the Mount Desert Island community for 38 years as a coach and an educator. He coached basketball, baseball and cross country at Mount Desert High School from 1954-1968. When the four high schools on MDI combined into one, he became the athletic director and varsity basketball coach.
His tenure lasted for a total of 26 years, during which his teams amassed a 360-86 record. In that time, they reached the tournament 23 times and collected seven Eastern Maine and four state championships. Although he retired from coaching after the 1970 season, he stayed on as MDI athletic director until 1991. He was voted “Coach of the Year” three times and was honored as “Athletic Director of the Year.”
Parady, an Old Town native, graduated from the University of Maine, where he lettered in three different sports. He has been inducted in the Maine Sports Hall of Fame (2000) and the Maine Sports Legends Hall of Fame. He also received the James R. DiFrederico Award in 2001, which honors an individual who has made a longstanding contribution to basketball in the state of Maine and who exhibits the qualities of sportsmanship and fair play demonstrated by DiFrederico.
His legacy also is well represented by his children and grandchildren, all of whom attended Mount Desert Island High School. He had five children, Steve, Scott, Jan, Pam and Kim, as well as 13 grandchildren, Pat and Sam Bush, Sean and Tia Parady, Sara, Dylan and Molly Carroll, Bridget, Cassidy, and Eli Parady, and Katie and Sam Walker.
The New England Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony is one of the largest sports dinners in America, with approximately 1,900 people expected to attend. Honorees represent a number of categories, ranging from high school to senior adults who play the game at 65 and over. It will be held in Worcester, Mass., on Aug. 8.