NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — In an effort to recognize exceptional coaches who have a positive impact on their communities, FloSports created a national Hometown Heroes award.
The organization has narrowed approximately 10,000 nominations down to five finalists, and North Kingstown High School cross country coach Paul Tetreault is one of them.
Tetreault has amassed a long list of accolades during his 37-year career at North Kingstown, including state championships and Hall of Fame honors, but it’s his impact on the lives of his student athletes and the surrounding community that’s gaining him nationwide attention.
“I want to be able to walk away at the end of the day knowing that the boys and the girls that we have here at North Kingstown are going to be making some good decisions in their life,” Tetreault said.
“We talk about not only our running workouts, but we also talk about, ‘what can we do?'” he added. “It’s called the 21-3 principle, where we know what they’re doing the three hours they’re with us, what are you doing those other 21 hours? What are you doing to make the world a better place? Who are you helping? It’s all about serving others.”
The team participates in an annual toiletry drive for the Ronald McDonald House and his athletes are encouraged to work with the Special Olympics.
“I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of celebrities in my professional career and I came to learn that meeting celebrities is a great thing, but you really want to meet a hero and I think in Paul’s case, he’s truly a hero and I’m very proud to call him a friend,” said Mike McGovern, former director of Special Olympics R.I.
If Tetreault wins the award he’ll receive a $25,000 cash prize, but he says that’s not what this is about. He says winning would simply be validating the program he’s worked so hard to build.