EAST PROVIDENCE — Saying it was the right time and opportunity to do so, Ward 3 City Councilman Tommy Rose proposed a resolution Tuesday night, Aug. 19, naming the press box at Pierce Memorial Stadium in the honor long-time East Providence High School coach and athletic director William Stringfellow Jr. and his wife Sheila.
The measure passed by a unanimous 5-0 vote.
“Mr. and Mrs. Stringfellow have done so much for this city. It’s been their life, really,” Mr. Rose said of his resolution. “I realized there’s nothing named after them, so there’s no better time or place to do it than the press box at Pierce Stadium, especially considering we’re redoing it. They’re good people. And like I said earlier they’ve given a lot to the city, so this a way of recognizing that.”
The Pierce press box is scheduled to get a new roof in the coming weeks among other minor upgrades.
Mr. Stringfellow has a deep connection to sports in the city, first as an All-State football player at EPHS, where he also wrestled and was part of the “Pride of East Providence” marching band.
After completing university at Springfield College and serving in the United States Army, Mr. Stringfellow eventually returned to his hometown to first serve as a teacher and coach at the former Central Junior High School. He moved to EPHS in 1970, later coaching the football team to three state championships in 19 years on the Townie sideline.
Mr. Stringfellow was also the director of athletics for the school system and was named the first director of the East Providence Recreation Department, a position he held for 14 years. When he retired, Mr. Stringfellow had served the school department for 36 years.
“Beansie”, as he is affectionately known to friends and coaching cohorts, received a number of honors during his time in coaching and as an administrator, including induction into the Rhode Island Coaches Hall of Fame and the Gridiron Hall of Fame, named Kodak Coach of the Year, Athletic Director of the Year, recipient of the Savastano Sports Medicine Achievement Award and recipient of the NIAAA State Award of Merit.
In addition, he was inducted into the East Providence Hall of Fame, is an Honorary Alumni Inductee of the Bishop Hendricken High School Hall of Fame, received the Larry Gallogly Humanitarian Award from the Providence Gridiron Club, was named to the first Athletic Directors’ Hall of Fame; was named to Springfield College’s 1940’s All-Decade football team and was honored by the Rhode Island Chapter of the National Football Foundation for Contributions to Amateur Sports.
Mr. Stringfellow remains a constant at East Providence High School home football games, sitting, coincidentally, just a few rows under the press box that now bears his name.
Mr. and Mrs. Stringfellow are the parents of seven: Bill III, Arthur, Peter, Paul, Todd, Jonathan and Ann. They have 21 grandchildren, two step-granddaughters and a great-grandson.