Former Middleboro baseball coach Bill Lawrence dies of cancer at 53

The Middleboro baseball team celebrated its 2015 Division 3 state title win.
The Middleboro baseball team celebrated its 2015 Division 3 state title win.Robert E. Klein for the Boston Globe

Bill Lawrence, former Middleboro High School baseball coach who won two state championships, died Monday after a year-long battle with cancer, Middleboro athletic director Ryan Sylvia said. He was 53.

Lawrence, a 1984 graduate of Middleboro and former baseball player for the Sachems, coached his alma mater for 21 years, from 1998-2018, and won state titles in 2013 (Division 3) and 2015 (Division 2). He was also taught physical education.

“I really got to know him well as a teacher,” said Sylvia, who became the athletic director at Middleboro in 2017. “We worked really closely together over the last three years.”


Lawrence won 327 games during his career and never had a losing season. Middleboro qualified for the postseason every year during his tenure.

Sylvia, who is also the baseball chair for the South Shore League, said coaches called Lawrence “a class act.”

“He tried to coach the whole person, teach life lessons through baseball,” Sylvia said.

He was diagnosed with cancer approximately one year ago, Sylvia said, and the disease progressed quickly.

“It was really just one of those sad, unfortunate circumstances where he went in for some surgeries and treatments, things got progressively worse,” Sylvia said.

A wake for Lawrence will be held Thursday in Mansfield and a funeral will be on Friday.