Champion football coach dies after Upton car crash

UPTON – Dick Corbin, a Natick High School graduate who went on to coach Milford High’s football team to five Midland League championships, died Friday after a two-vehicle crash in Upton, police said.

Corbin was head coach at Milford High from 1968-1978, spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Worcester State College, and was offensive line coach at Harvard University from 1979-1994.

A dump truck was traveling south when it collided with Corbin’s 2005 Toyota Camry as he was leaving Gasco Auto Service at 147 Milford St., Route 140, at about 3:20 p.m., according to Upton police.

Corbin, 71, was pronounced dead at Milford Regional Medical Center. The driver of the dump truck, Kenneth Chabot, 51, was taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center and was in stable condition, according to Police Chief Michael Bradley Jr.

Corbin’s Milford teams compiled a 72-25-1 record, won five Midland League championships, and a Division 2 Central/Western Massachusetts Super Bowl title in 1975. His 1970 team was undefeated, and his 1978 squad was a Super Bowl runner-up.

He was inducted into the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2004.

Corbin, graduated from Natick High in 1958 and was a lineman at the University of Maryland. He learned the game in high school under Joe Hoague and Dan Bennett, at Maryland under Tom Nugent, and as an assistant at Waltham High with Hal Kopp, one of the great innovators of the sport.

“Joe Hoague and Dan Bennett planted the seed for me. They turned an underachieving kid into a motivated young man,’’ Corbin told the Globe in 2004.

Corbin met his wife, Ruth Ann, when both were in junior high in Natick.

Corbin’s players at Milford included quarterback Joe Restic Jr., who went on to Notre Dame and whose father brought Corbin to his coaching staff at Harvard. He also coached the 1975 front four: Tom (Waxie) Cullen, who played on a national championship team at Youngstown State; Pat Cornelius (“the best player I have ever coached’’), who went on to Maryland and the Cotton Bowl; Howie Long, now a National Football League Hall of Fame member, who praised Dick and Ruth Ann Corbin at his induction; and Brian Saulin, who later played at UMass.