There are many more games remaining for Woburn Memorial High School teams this year. But one thing is clear. Last week, the Tanners suffered their biggest loss of the foreseeable future, and it had nothing to do with any win or loss that will be reflected in the standings.
Woburn athletes, coaches, and parents were saddened by the death of equipment manager and public address announcer Ozzie Guilli, who died on December 31 at the age of 83.
“It’s certainly a tremendous loss,” said longtime Tanner football head coach Rocky Nelson, who knew Guilli for about 40 years. “He was a great friend to all of the athletes of Woburn High School. All of the athletes truly loved him, and it was the same with the coaches. He will be sorely missed.”
According to his obituary, Guilli was the Tanners’ equipment manager for the last 20 years in addition to serving as the “voice of Woburn High School sports” as the public address announcer for the football, soccer and basketball teams. Guilli had worked at the school the day before he was unexpectedly hospitalized.
Deborah Austin, who had three children play sports in Woburn and who drove the buses for many teams throughout recent years, said that she was shocked to hear of Guilli’s passing.
“He was a great person. A very friendly, nice person,” she said. “He just loved the kids and the coaches. I don’t think the coaches would’ve know where they were if it weren’t for Ozzie. They’re going to miss him a lot.”
Calling hours were held for Guilli on Sunday, and he will be laid to rest during a funeral mass on Monday at 10 a.m. inside St. Charles Church on Main Street.
“There isn’t one person who could say a bad thing about Ozzie Guilli,” said Nelson. “He had an impact on a lot of kids’ lives in a very positive way, and I will truly miss him.”