This is the first in a multi-part series highlighting the newest members of the New Britain Sports Hall of Fame.
Pringle was born and raised in Weatogue, Connecticut. Graduating from Simsbury High School where he was a member of the 1952 state championship basketball team. In 1953 Pringle started his college education at Teacher College of Connecticut (CCSU). He was a member of the basketball team for TCC from 1953-1957 and was co-captain of the 1957 team. Upon graduating from TCC in 1958 with a BS in elementary education, Pringle joined the United States Army where he proudly served his country as a cryptographer for 13 months in Southeast Asia.
He returned home to begin his teaching career. He taught physical education first at Litchfield High where he coached boys basketball and soccer, then at Avon High School where he also coached basketball. During this time, Pringle also received his master's degree from Southern Connecticut University. In 1970 Pringle was hired back to his alma mater Central Connecticut State where he spent the next twenty-five years as a coach, mentor, teacher and friend to hundreds of student-athletes. During his tenure at Central, he was an assistant to basketball coach Bill Detrick. He held this position for 15 years. During this time he also assisted John Webster with his soccer team for four years.
In 1978, Pringle left coaching basketball and became the head women's softball coach for the next 17 years until his retirement in 1995. But he didn't stay retired long. In 1995, Pringle returned to coaching as an assistant basketball coach at New Britain High School under Beryl Piper. During this time he played a major role in the development of players and winning three state championships as well as numerous league championships.
He is a member of the central Connecticut State University Hall Of Fame, the Connecticut Women's Softball Hall Of Fame and a recipient of the Kaiser Service Award.
Hamel excelled in track and football at New Britain High School, graduating in 1984. He was one of the few freshmen to make the kickoff team. That was the start to a very successful career on the gridiron where he was named First-Team All-CDC Defense in 1983 and All-CDC fullback in 1984. Track and field was another area where Hamel left his mark. He was a top performer in the javelin, discus and shot put. From 1982-84, Hamel was All-CDC in the javelin, discus and shot put. He was not only the top performer in the conference but also on the state level.
During this time period, he had top-three finishes in all three events in the CIAC Class LL state meet. In 1983 and 1984 he was the Class LL state champion in the shot put. Hamel had much success with top finishes at the Yale Invitational, the Eastern Relay, The Knights of Columbus Meet, and the Hartford Invitational. In 1984 he was shot put State Open indoor champion and won the gold medal at the Eastern Relays. He was awarded the Burns Memorial Award in 1984. Hamel continues to back active in the community coaching youth sports in New Britain and Berlin. He is married to Laure Hamel with three children Emily, Jack and James.
The Hall of Fame induction dinner is scheduled for May 7 at the General Ameglio Ballroom in New Britain. Tickets may be purchased at Paradise Restaurant on East Street in New Britain, the New Britain YMCA, Scotts Flowers on South Main Street or by contacting Joe Lombardo at 860-970-6364.