The late Bruce Jaffe left an incredible legacy at Prep: educator, coach, lay clergyman – and even bus driver.
His specialty in the classroom (where he taught for 50 years) was U.S. history, but his accomplishments as a coach are enviable as well as laudable. He coached swimming and diving for nearly half a century as well as soccer from its infancy as a varsity sport in 1973 until 2009.
While there were no state or league championships in soccer, overseeing the Jesuits’ pool exploits place Jaffe in the pantheon of legendary Prep coaches.
From 1967 until his retirement in 2012, Jaffe presided over some three dozen All-Americans (among them 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Chuck Berke) and 100 all-staters. His teams won three CIAC divisional crowns (1998, 2007, 2012) and two State Opens (1998, 2012). The final State Open title was most memorable, as it capped an undefeated season. When he retired, Prep had compiled 10 SCC championships, including a streak of eight straight from 2005-2012.
In his final season, Jaffe was named Coach of the Year by the Connecticut Post and New Haven Register and also by the Connecticut High School Swim Coaches Association. In 2004, Jaffe was named National Coach of the Year for boys swimming and served several terms on the national rules committee. He was also the State Open meet director for 30 years.
Jaffe was a graduate of Yale (Class of ’66) and spent time in the Navy until he received a medical discharge, whereupon he joined the Prep faculty. He served as Prep’s Protestant chaplain and also volunteered his time to cook and serve an annual Christmas dinner for the elderly.
As for his bus driving, Jaffe spent many a day behind the wheel of the “Red Rocket” school bus, transporting teams to various competitions.
Jaffe passed away in 2020.