Wakefield Hall of Fame


Paul Gonnella

     Paul Gonnella was an extremely talented two-sport athlete at Wakefield High School.  In football he was the most versatile player on the field, at quarterback, safety, punter and kick-off return man, to become a contributor to the program all four years.  As a senior in 1987, he gained over 1300 all-purpose yards and passed for 501 yards, including seven touchdowns.  Paul also rushed for 486 yards and scored 10 times setting a Wakefield High School record on a 97 yard interception return for a touchdown breaking a 1936 mark.

     In his senior year Paul was named MVP, Middlesex League First Team All-Star, first team Boston Globe All-Scholastic and played in both the Harry Agganis Game at the Manning Bowl in Lynn and the Shriners Classic game at Boston College.

     A three-year starter in basketball, he captained the 1987-88 team and was co-MVP his senior year.  Paul enjoyed three state tournament appearances as well as being a member of the Division II North Championship team in 1987.  He scored over 400 points in his junior and senior year (957 career) with 162 career steals, 373 career assists and holds the Middlesex League record of 19 points in a quarter.  Paul was a two-time league All-Star and a member of the All League team his senior year.

     Paul went on to play football at Springfield College where he was selected first team All-New England Division II as a free safety as well as being a preseason All-American pick.  After his playing days, it was only a natural progression for Mr. Gonnella to go on to become stay involved in athletics.  In the 1997-1998 season he was the Somerville High School Assistant Coach for running backs and defensive backs.   In 2001-2002 he was at Lovejoy High School in Georgia as Assistant Coach for defensive backs and placed 31 Division 1A prospects for 44 total scholarship prospects.  In 2003-2004 at Mississippi State University he was a defensive Graduate Assistant and worked for head coaches Jackie Sherrill and Sylvester Croom.  For the years of 2005-2007 at Cambridge Rindge & Latin he attained the position of Head Football Coach with an 18-15 Record (14-8 the last 2 years) The year 2008 found Paul at the University of North Carolina as Director of Player Personnel under Head Coach Butch Davis where the 2009 UNC signing class is currently Ranked # 5 in the nation among D1A schools.

Basketball - Football


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