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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Charlie Titus – Icon Award

For the past 40 years, Charlie Titus’ name has been synonymous with UMass Boston athletics. Since the establishment of the Basketball program, Charlie was the first and only “Coach” to lead the Beacons throughout a full season. He is not only the founder of the LEC, but his contributions to the institution and community have created a residual effect on the reputation of the University of Massachusetts Boston as a whole.
Last month, Titus was appointed his second award from the New England Basketball Hall of Fame for his philanthropic deeds in the Boston community. In 2009, Titus was first inducted into the Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a head coach. However, more recently, a new award has been created within the NEBHOF. Titus received this new honor, known as the Icon Award. This award is not given for on-court accomplishments, but for off-court endeavors. It is awarded to those who exude a passion for community service and represents the standard for a well-tuned moral compass.
As a community leader, Titus also has accepted the Boston Parks and Recreation Award and the Judge Harry Elam Award. These accomplishments were awarded to him for his fervent approach to serving the youth. On top of his commitment to local development, Titus has brought his work overseas to Africa.: “I saw a need and we could have an impact. It’s now called the YES program: Youth Education and Sports in Africa,” said Titus. “It’s been running for 15 years; we use basketball as a hook to get kids in. The program does education; we do some cultural development and community development.”

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Coach Titus has been engaged in the community since birth. Hailing from Dorchester, Massachusetts, Titus believes that his town is the integral key that opened the door to his passion for helping others and community involvement. “My mother was very active as a single mom in the life of my sister and I. Her involvement with us brought her into various community activities, so I was used to it. If you grow up in Massachusetts, particularly in Dorchester, you understand politics and get involved in politics,” said Titus. “You know as a kid I was standing out on corners and holding up signs for Robert Quinn… My early jobs were all in and around community service. I’ve always had a strong belief that you should participate in your community. It’s where you work. It’s where you live, so you should be a part of it; you shouldn’t just [live] there. You should try and make it better in any way you can.”
Once Titus graduated from Saint Michael’s College, he received his first full-time job as a community leader. “When I was in college, I worked for Action for Boston Community and Development youth programs. When I graduated, they thought enough of me to offer me a full time job. I took it and actually rose within a couple of years. I was running ABCD’s youth program.” As stated on the ABCD’s website, their mission is to provide basic services and innovative programs that help empower individuals, families, and communities in Boston to overcome poverty, live with dignity, and achieve their full potentials.

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Looking back, Titus never envisioned that a coaching career would evolve him into such an influential figure in the Boston community. Despite initial expectations, Titus developed a sense of pride for the University by reaching out to those in need. In turn, his actions, efforts, and attitude are now ingrained in the heart of the Athletic Department’s ideology. “I think for people growing up today, and in any time period really, [it’s important to have] an understanding of your own moral and ethical beliefs and principals that you live by. If you practice them, it becomes a part of others by transference. You don’t have to say anything; they just watch what you do.”