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Hugh "Snuffy" Gelston '56: Coach's Last Game

A few weeks ago, Coach Hugh "Snuffy" Gelston '56 coached his last basketball game for Boys' Latin. After graduating from BL in 1956, he returned to Lake Avenue in the fall of 1965, where he remained for the next 50 plus years. Throughout that time, he coached numerous teams and served as BL's athletic director. He has coached BL's 6th grade team for the past several years. We tip our hat to "Snuffy," one of BL's finest. 

Hugh E. “Snuffy” Gelston has given his entire adult life to Boys’ Latin School. He first became affiliated with BL as a post-graduate student in the fall of 1955. His favorite sport was – of course, basketball! - But he did play on the 1955 six-man football team and was named 1st team All-Metropolitan Six-Man Football as a defensive back. On the basketball court, he was the starting guard for the Latinist team, which finished in second place in the Maryland Scholastic Association (MSA) private school league.  

After graduating from BL, Snuffy attended The University of the South (Sewanee) and earned five varsity letters – four in basketball and one in cross country. He was captain of the Sewanee basketball team for two years and was President of the Sewanee Varsity Club. 

He returned to BL in the fall of 1965 as a teacher and coach. In 1969 he became the varsity basketball coach and served as the school’s Athletic Director from 1972-2002. Coach Gelston guided the Laker basketball program for 29 years, winning 474 games and seven championships before retiring in 1998. 

“Snuffy” Gelston also coached varsity cross country, varsity soccer and varsity golf. He retired just over two years ago from coaching the middle school soccer and basketball teams here at Boys’ Latin. His 2016 sixth grade basketball team went undefeated with a perfect 12-0 record. 

In 2008 he was inducted into the Boys’ Latin Athletic Hall of Fame and in 2016 was named a Boys’ Latin School Distinguished Alumnus. His two sons are also BL graduates; Trey, from the class of 1988, and Kelby, a member of the class of 1990. 

Coach Gelston is a great mentor, teacher, coach and friend. He has influenced hundreds of Lakers throughout his six decades here on Lake Avenue with his calm yet firm demeanor and has made BL a better place for all.  

You can click here to watch a wonderful farewell video of “Snuffy’s” last game.