WESTFIELD, NJ — Some 200 people braved chilly, windy conditions Friday evening to attend the dedication of the new Brad Coustan scoreboard at Gumbert Field. The Westfield Baseball League honored Coustan, a devoted and loving husband, father and dedicated volunteer for many years to Westfield Baseball and the Westfield community, who lost his battle with cancer on June 7.
The scoreboard was paid for by community donations.
“We are honored and blessed that Brad is acknowledged for his commitment and impact on so many members of our community,” said his wife, Helene Coustan. “Every time we drive by we will be remembering the great times we had on those fields.”
A father of two, Brad was active in the Westfield youth sports community, coaching basketball, soccer, softball, but it was his passion for baseball that really stood out, friends and family said.
“Brad spent a lot of time at the Gumbert Baseball Complex and baseball was his game,” said Noah Ament, during a speech at the ceremony. Ament said he became close friends coaching with Coustan over the years.
“He was an All-State third baseman in high school and nothing brought him more peace and tranquility then being on a baseball field,” Ament said.
At the ceremony, Ament also spoke about how erecting the new scoreboard took a coordinated effort between town officials and representatives from Westfield’s girls softball, soccer, basketball and baseball associations.
Seeral members of Coustan’s family spoke at the ceremony, including his father and his 13-year-old son, Victor. The theme of all of the speeches was Coustan’s passion for helping others and his ability to be a role model and inspiration regardless of his own circumstances.
“I think that coaching and working with kids meant more to Brad than anything else,” said Ament. “He loved teaching his own kids and he loved teaching all the other kids as well.
“It was his break from the reality form the daily grind,”Ament said. “A place where he could go and let his enthusiasm rub off on other people and a place where he could be himself. I will never forget the huge smile Brad always had on his face while he was coaching, whether we were winning or losing. It was all about the experience for Brad and more of us need to realize what he realized long before most people do.”
At the ceremony, the family was presented with a $7,000 check with funds collected from members of the community to be used towards the Coustan children’s college funds.
In addition to frequently contributing to TAP into Westfield, Mike Cohen is the founder/director of Throwback Sports and the sports editor of Education Update. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.