Written by Russ Tyler '71 P'00 '02
Providence, R.I. - Brown University is saddened by the passing of Gerry Alaimo '58, former basketball standout and head coach, who passed away on May 10.
Gerry played basketball at Brown and graduated as the 3rd leading scorer, 3rd in career free throws made and 2nd all-time rebounder. He loved rebounding the basketball more than anything, treating it like a blood sport; and the 26 caroms that he had against U.R.I. are the second highest total in Brown annals and stand as proof of his ferocity as a player. He was a Co-Captain and an All-Ivy selection as a senior and received widespread credit as one of the top defensive players in the nation. In recognition of his accomplishments as a player, Gerry was named to Brown's All-Time Team at the 100th anniversary celebration in 2006.
He went on to coach college basketball at Middlebury College before returning to Brown in 1969 as the Head Basketball Coach. His teams on College Hill enjoyed an unprecedented run of success in the mid-seventies with consecutive winning seasons in 1972-73, 1973-74, and 1974-75, and setting the school record for wins in a season with 17 in 1973-74.
A native of Torrington, Connecticut, Gerry left Brown following the 1977-78 season and he was immediately and wisely scooped up by the Friars of Providence College as an administrator in the athletic department. He ultimately retired from Providence in 2001 and was inducted into the Providence College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.
When Gerry arrived back at Brown as the newly minted Head Coach in the spring of 1969, he met with returning players and explained what would be required of each in order to meet his expectations and demands. There would be only a full-scale commitment to the basketball program, nothing less, and even something much more. He also predicted, correctly as is turned out, that many would not be able to meet his requirements while making it also abundantly clear that for those that did, "I will be your friend for life." For those that did last and for so many others who played for Gerry over the years, he was loyal and supportive to his very core, being much more somehow than "a friend for life." He changed countless lives, not just at Brown but also across town at Providence College. His players and students can mark the days spent under his coaching and guidance and friendship as among the most meaningful of their lives.
As each of his players, students and friends say farewell, they can celebrate his life for the lessons that they learned and express gratitude with their hearts for his total unselfishness, humility and commitment.
A short Graveside Service will be held Tuesday, May at 11a.m. in Hillside Cemetery, 76 Walnut Street, Torrington, CT, after which attendees are invited to the Dacapo Restaurant for an informal lunch gathering before heading home. Visiting hours are respectfully omitted. In lieu of flowers, donations to Crossroads of Rhode Island, 160 Broad Street, Providence, RI 02903.