Gerry Brumpton coached high school sports for 36 years. He is primarily noteworthy for his unprecedented success during a 32-year spell as Head Coach of W. D. Lowe’s Senior boys’ basketball team. Brumpton graduated several players to high-profile NCAA scholarship, won numerous titles, and played an important role in building St. Clair College’s Summer Basketball Camp.
Brumpton was born in Windsor on June 25, 1938.
Brumpton attended Victoria Elementary School, where he participated in basketball and softball. He went on to attend Patterson Collegiate for Grades 9 and 10 and Forster Collegiate for Grades 11, 12, and 13. Brumpton enjoyed significant athletic success at the latter school. He played four years of football for the Forster Spartans as an offensive end, defensive end, and halfback under Coaches Val Motruk and Dave Mallender. One of his teammates was Whit Tucker, a future Canadian Football League player and Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Famer. With Forster, Brumpton played against Toronto Parkdale in the Annual Red Feather Charity Football Game at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium. The Red Feather organization was the forerunner of the United Way.
After high school, Brumpton attended the University of Guelph from 1958 to ’62. He took an honours Biology degree and, for a time, thought about becoming a doctor. Brumpton made the Gryphons’ basketball team in his final year, but he was not a starter.
Brumpton took up teaching after graduation. He began his education and coaching career at Essex District High School in 1962. He taught physics and science. In his first year at Essex, Brumpton was an Assistant Coach to Al Langford on the football team that won the ECSSAA championship. The team’s quarterback was Dave Prpich, who went on to be a longtime coach with the Windsor Spitfires Junior “A” hockey team. The next year, Brumpton was a Co-Coach with Tom Heenan as the Red Raiders were crowned ECSSAA and SWOSSA champions.
Brumpton’s long tenure at Windsor’s W. D. Lowe High School, where he taught physics and biology, began in 1964. Brumpton reached Department Head of Science in 1967 and remained in the position until his retirement in ’98.
Brumpton began to coach immediately. He was Head Coach of the school’s Junior boys basketball team and Assistant Coach of the football team in his first year. From 1964 to ’69, Brumpton also took on some coaching duties with the school’s track and field team, working with athletes in the discus, javelin, shot put, and high jump events. From 1970 to ’82, he was Head Coach of the Junior football team, reaching two WSSA Finals.
Brumpton is primarily honoured here for his work with the Senior boys’ basketball team. Between 1966 and ’98, Brumpton coached 994 games. His teams won 734 and lost 260 for an impressive .738 win percentage.
Brumpton’s Lowe teams won a record 15 WSSAA City Championships (in 1970, ’75, ’76, ’77, ’78, ’79, ’82, ’87, ’88, ’89, ’90, ’91, ’92, ’93, and ’95), including a record seven consecutive titles between ’87 and ’93. Under Brumpton, Lowe reached a remarkable eight OFSAA All-Ontario “AAA” Final Fours, winning two gold medals (1976 and ’77), four silver medals (’79, ’81, ’82, and ’91), and one bronze medal (’92). The team also won eight University of Windsor Invitational Championships (1976, ’77, ’78, ’79, ’81, ’90, ’91, and ’94)
Several of Brumpton’s players went on to play at Division 1 American colleges. Most notably, Mike Brkovich earned a scholarship to Michigan State, where he played alongside Ervin “Magic” Johnson and became an important member of the Spartans’ 1979 NCAA Championship team. Other outstanding Lowe players who went on to play college basketball were Don Brkovich (University of New Mexico), Richard Wells and Shannon Robbins (Lake Superior State), Peter Lambropoulos (Central Michigan), Chad Curley (American International), Phil Goggins (University of Waterloo), and Jamie Price (Mott Community College).
Brumpton has also made significant contributions to basketball beyond the high school level.
Most notably, he organized and worked as Head Instructor and Coach for St. Clair College’s Summer Basketball Camp from 1978 to 2000. The camp, for girls and boys in Grades 6 through 12, is Windsor’s longest running weekly camp of its kind. Brumpton has also worked as an Instructor and Coach at basketball camps at Laurier University (from 1970 to ’75), and Michigan State (’78-99). For 20 years, beginning in the 1970s, he also coached at Ontario’s Olympic Sports Camp. He has lectured on several occasions at Ontario Basketball Association Nike Coaching Clinics, where he’s shared the stage with some of the best NCAA Division 1 coaches.
In 1982, Brumpton was asked to coach Team Ontario at the Canada Games in Thunder Bay. His team won a silver medal. Brumpton also worked as an assistant with the 1998-99 University of Windsor women’s team and coached in the Windsor Valiants Girls Basketball program in ’99-2000. Throughout his career, Brumpton won numerous titles with WSSAA All-Star teams at tournaments in cities like London, Sarnia, Toronto, Waterloo, Oshawa, Detroit, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York. He also coached Charity All-Star games for Crippled Children and Easter Seals in Toronto and Montreal.
In 2000-01, following his retirement from teaching, Brumpton took a position as Basketball Coordinator at Windsor Herman Collegiate.
Brumpton received the 1981 Windsor Kinsmen Sportsman of the Year Award and a 1997 Heroes of Education Award from the Windsor Board of Education.