Saying Goodbye to Coach Barrett

June 16, 2020

Additional photos from the funeral procession

Today, Monsignor Farrell High School paid tribute to our beloved former head football coach and faculty member Dennis Barrett, who passed away on June 9, 2020, at the age of 77.  Barrett also recently served as a member of the Monsignor Farrell High School Board of Trustees.
Members of the Farrell community lined Amboy Road as a sign of respect and admiration as Barrett's funeral procession passed in front of the school. Farrell students, dressed in uniform, stood in silence with American flags, Monsignor Farrell High School flags, and their sports equipment as a final salute to the coach.  The procession stopped in front of the Farrell Chapel for a blessing by school Chaplain Fr. Jeff Pomeisl and the playing of Amazing Grace by bagpiper Christian Meyer, Monsignor Farrell Class of '21, who then switched to the trumpet for the playing of Taps before proceeding under NYPD escort to Moravian Cemetary.  An estimated 50-car procession of family and friends followed.

Said Monsignor Farrell President and CEO Lou Tobacco '90, "Coach Barrett was faith in action. He was the living epitome of our mission. He taught, coached, and mentored all, developing the whole man, a person aware of his own God-given talents, confident in his abilities, and oriented to the service of others." When it came to teaching and coaching, Barrett's philosophy was "You have to love them and they have to know that you love them," and he did, and his students and players loved him.

"None of these students who were here today ever knew Dennis as we did but they heard what we said, saw what he meant to us, and they answered the bell. You will never be able to explain this to someone who hasn’t lived it....brotherhood!" - Monisgnor Farrell Principal Larry Musanti

"It is truly a sad day for the entire Barrett family," said Brian Hall '77, who played for Barrett at Farrell in the 1970s and remained a close friend. "He truly touched the lives of so many, making a difference in the lives of all the people that he met."
Another of Barrett's players at Farrell and close family friend Mike Marino '68 explained, "The common thread among all those that I met who knew Dennis was that he always made you feel special and that you had his complete attention.  In short, you knew that he loved you.  That was his magic, that he truly loved you," adding, "I wouldn't be where I am without Dennis Barrett."

Coach Barrett served as the head coach of the Monsignor Farrell football program from 1968 - 1980. While his record of 103 - 13 - 6 during that time is impressive, it only tells a small part of the story of Dennis Barrett.

He was a teacher, a coach, and a mentor not just to those who played for him, but to anyone who was fortunate enough to cross paths with him. Young men from other schools on Staten Island would seek his help, which he would gladly give. That is the type of man he was.

"It's a very somber day knowing that we are never going to be able to speak to Coach again," lamented Rich Fugazzi '72, another former Farrell player and close friend who flew up from Florida to attend the services.  "The beautiful display from the Farrell Family today as Coach passed by the school this morning one last time was heartwarming and inspirational.  His passing is going to leave a huge void in many lives, but the memories of him will last forever."  Farrell alumnus David DiTommaso '85 echoed Fugazzi's sentiments. "The students of Monsignor Farrell holding the American flags in front of Farrell was a great tribute to Coach."

Monsignor Farrell High School and the Barrett family would like to sincerely thank alumni Jack Oehm '76, Brian Hall '77, Mike Marino '68, and Mike Lanza '76, as well the FDNY Ceremonial Unit, the NYPD, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, and all of the Faithful men of Monsignor Farrell High School for their help in today's special salute to Dennis Barrett.

A memorial celebrating Coach Barrett's life is being planned at Farrell to be held when conditions permit.

Vir Fidelis , Acta Non Verba