Smiles And Sunshine

Turtleboy Shamed Braintree High School Into Rehiring Legendary Basketball Coach Kristen McDonnell After Psycho Parents Drove Her Out

Turtleboy Shamed Braintree High School Into Rehiring Legendary Basketball Coach Kristen McDonnell After Psycho Parents Drove Her Out

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If you don’t remember this story from a few months ago, here’s the blog we wrote on it. It’s the third most popular blog in Turtleboy Sports history. It’s been read over 250,000 times. A couple weeks before we broke the story it was announced that legendary Braintree High School girl’s basketball coach Kristen McDonnell was resigning after 8 successful years that included two Division 1 State Championship, and a State Championship runner up trophy this past season. Her reasons were vague, and made mention of a parent revolt in her farewell email.

So Turtleboy did what we always do – got to the bottom of the story. Turns out that Coach McDonnell on the way out had forwarded some INSANE emails she got from parents, including this gem from Rick Tonetti, whose daughter recently graduated from Braintree HS:

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There are so many other things you should telling my daughter “sorry” for, and I must admit that wishing her the best does smack of hypocrisy. As soon as I saw the politics her freshman year, I have been trying to get Bella to quit your team and concentrate on track where politics don’t exist. Politics and favoritism can’t exist in track and field; it’s all time and measurements. No matter how much a parent kisses the coach’s ass, or how many dinners they buy her, it won’t make the kid run any faster or jump any higher. I even told her, “wouldn’t if feel good to look over at Kristen’s favorites during the awards ceremony when you are standing up there getting every award,” but that’s not her style.” 

If you knew my daughter at all you would know that Bella is very strong willed, private, humble, loyal, and would not leave her team, even when almost every team parent had vocalized that you were intentionally trying to destroy her self esteem. To quote one of the junior parents, “she treats her terribly.” It is a testament to her strength and intelligence that she endured, proving her superior fortitude as a young woman. To this day, I have no idea why you treated her like this, and to be honest, I really don’t care any more. Whatever the reason, the problem is not hers, but yours. 

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For years she managed to slug along as the teams most unselfish player, caring far more about defense than using her speed to score easy baskets by taking off down the court for an uncontested layup. Not a day went by when I didn’t tell her to “just score and get what is yours.” Even Stephanie Roche told her to “go and get 30 points a game, you’re the quickest kid on the court.” But as I have said before, that’s not her style. She is the definition of a team player. 

I think that one of the main things that kept her going was that even though you never spoke highly of her, and barely, if at all mentioned her in an interview, the Globe, Herald, Patriot Ledger, and the commentators on BCAM did. Their unbiased opinions meant more to her than yours ever will. There is a reason why she was in the paper almost every week. They saw what you didn’t. I’m sure you are not interested, but just in case there is a link to follow at the bottom of this email. Don’t even bother watching the whole thing, just listen to the commentators at the beginning. 

First you marginzalized her captaincy after she was voted captain unanimously I might add, by suddenly decreeing that every senior was now captain. This is something you never would have done to the previous seniors, and probably won’t do for you upcoming favorites, unless of course they aren’t elected. I’m also pretty sure that this was also the first time that a returning Comcast all tournament player was not allowed to start in the tournament the following year. By the way, when people see (parent of another girl) Jeff Timberlake talking to all the officials ahead of time and his daughter starts and plays the entire game, it’s not a stretch for even the most naive to see when something is being manufactured. 


After Coach McDonnell forward Rick’s insane email to the rest of the parents she then received a follow up from Rick’s wife Kim Tonelli, who teaches second grade in Quincy, and wanted to let her know what the junior parents were allegedly saying behind her back:

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Imagine how full of yourself you have to be to be writing plays on a napkin because you know more about a former college basketball player who had coached your kid’s team to two state championships in 8 years. And by “another parent,” Kim was really talking about her husband Rick. This is new level of helicopter parenting, which happens at schools all over America today. We just don’t know about it because coaches and teachers are too afraid to come forward with these emails. If more coaches did what coach McDonnell did the public would realize what an epidemic this is.

Ironically last summer Rick Tonetti shared a positive article about his daughter participating in a camp being run by Coach McDonnell:

Braintree HS principal James Lee was too gutless and cowardly to put the parents in their place and back up his star coach.  AD Matthew Denice wanted to keep her, but was overruled by his superiors.

Anyway, good for her for coming back. A lot of people would’ve told Principal Lee to beat it. But obviously Coach McDonnell is a woman of integrity who cared more about the kids than she did about her pride and she graciously accepted their offer when they came crawling back to her.

And make no doubt about it – this doesn’t happen without our blog. Without that blog the public doesn’t read the emails. There is no real outcry, as her reasons for leaving were vague. Coach McDonnell would’ve just been another coach victimized by out of control parents. The kids would’ve suffered, as her camp would end and the development of younger girls would’ve been stifled. They wouldn’t be making district championships, never mind state championships. But we shamed Braintree High School into doing the right thing. Because public shaming works, and Turtleboy fixes problems.

How’s that boycott going? Wouldn’t have time to follow it. Too busy helping kids. Beep, beep!


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47 Comment(s)
  • CAP
    October 30, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    She was hired as an assistant coach as Stonehill College before the glue was dry on her resignation letter. Try to keep up.

  • Mark D
    July 24, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Some guy called another guy a drunk because he sees him every night at the bar. Well, then WTF are you, asshole?

  • Roberta Turner
    July 24, 2017 at 3:30 am

    Just maybe the parents should practice parenting and take a communcation course and stay out of the locker room. Period

  • White Nationalist Turtle Rider
    July 23, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    I hope she continues to physically hit her players, ESPECIALLY ones who bitch about playing time. If I were her I’d bring a baseball bat to practice and start clocking some of these worthless trash sluts!

  • Bob02184
    July 22, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Braintree Townie hit it on the head! Russell is the puppet master and Mcdonnell is his $ ticket. He needs her in the school so he can continue to rip off Braintree residents. His latest rip off is an AAU elite camp for 5 days 1.5 hrs a day $225 per player. 35-40 kids in the gym $8000 for 7.5 hrs of work? Not bad for a Boston cop with a drinking problem and very little formal education. Having the coach back in town allows her to steer the youth and HS players in his direction. We have heard multiple times how parents are told if you want to play varsity at Braintree you have to go to his AAU program and camps. Why should Braintree residents have to pay for his kids college education? Time for BPD to check out the OT details he does, it is hard to be doing a detail and be in the gym coaching at the same time? Fraud What would happen if the town said your welcome back but need to break off the Russell relationship?

    • Braintree Blue
      July 22, 2017 at 8:24 pm

      Hey Bob 02184. You are a keyboard coward with your response. No need for going in that direction. I agree with Real Wamp. He runs a tremendously successful program where the additional costs are generated from bringing the girls to showcase tournaments throughout the country. His efforts are for the girls beyond high school. Get over yourself.

      • Bob02184
        July 22, 2017 at 9:57 pm

        Blue, This bs has smeared our city and I am tired of hearing about how this fool gets every kid he coaches scholarships. He takes advantage of helicopter parents. It is ok to call the Tonetti guy a drunk but this guy drinks 3-4 times a week I see him in local food establishments quite often, he likes his beer. So how does me pointing out the obvious make me a coward. There are families out there drinking his cool aid spending grocery money on his camps, because he tells everyone their kid can play in college for free. My math was wrong earlier he is doing 2 different age groups at $225 so it is 14 hours with 60 -70 total kids so he is making $15000 for 14 hrs work. So much for doing it for the kids. I am willing to bet you do not make $15000 in a month? Finally if you understand basic economics and calculate that his players are paying $2000 you know he is subsidizing his income on the dreams of parents. So Blue go fuck yourself I love my 1st amendment .

        • Real Wamp
          July 22, 2017 at 10:52 pm

          Hey Bob,
          Are you one of the parents that complained bc your kid didn’t get a trophy or enough playing time on a team that could have won a state championship? I love how all of you are quick to throw blame on everyone. I would like to know why none of these keyboard heros haven’t brought up the fact that a couple of the senior girls had a boyfriend sneak in their room and stay with them the night before the state championship. You didn’t hear any of the senior parents bringing that up.
          Quit trying to bash a guy that runs an aau program that actually has value. If you need proof look at the kids that have went through it.

          • Bob02184
            July 22, 2017 at 11:32 pm

            Luckily I only have a son, but you fools are lowering my house value in Braintree because people outside the town think we are a bunch parental misfits with all the publicity. I happened to see it made the 11pm news. Nothing about 2 overdoses in a town but coach is making a return to HS coaching. Big time news By the way according to the state this guy has only owned an AAU program for 2 years. so how is it he has put all these kids in college if he has only been in business 2 years?

        • Braintree Blue
          July 22, 2017 at 11:38 pm

          Hey Bob. Your lack of class is explicit. Tonetti has already proven himself an asshole and you have now accompanied him. Are you one in the same? His girls have been successful. I smell jealousy.

          • Bill
            July 30, 2017 at 10:23 pm

            Can’t believe I am reading this nonsense for the first time. For a guy with ” only a son” this Bob guy seems a bit emotionally unhinged by Pat’s success. It’s amazing what can happen when you have passion and commitment. My child had worked with both Pat and Kristen. Their passion and commitment is contagious and the girls excel because of it.

        • Real Wamp
          July 23, 2017 at 12:06 am

          Since you see him at these establishments so frequently you yourself must also like the sauce. Have another one at Southside or the Brewhouse ya jerkoff! From what I understand Pat Russell has coached 4 girls that went to division one schools on Basketball scholarships.
          Oh yeah shootings at motel 6 and drug overdoses are what’s bring your house value down.

          • Chip Striker
            July 23, 2017 at 4:42 pm

            This moron thinks that a guy coaching a basketball camp will effect the value of his house?

            Wow, what a fucktard you are.

            If you have such a problem with this Russell guy and see him as frequently as you say you do, why don’t you man up and confront him?

            A fucktard and a pussy.

    • Mark
      July 23, 2017 at 2:32 pm

      Just a quick side note: Pretty sure Pat Russell’s “little formal education” is a bachelors and masters degree. But I see your point if you think coaches should have their doctorate. (??) And thanks to those guys in blue, we get to sleep easy every night.

      Bob, I was trying to think of the right word for you and it’s either schmuck, tool, or gigantic-douchebag. Haven’t really settled on one yet.

    • Mark
      July 23, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Just a quick side note: Pretty sure Pat Russell’s “little formal education” is a bachelors and masters degree. But I see your point if you think coaches should have their doctorate. (??) And thanks to those guys in blue, we get to sleep easy every night.

      “Bob”, I was trying to think of the right word for you and it’s either schmuck, tool, or gigantic-douchebag. Haven’t really settled on one yet.

  • aaumom
    July 22, 2017 at 8:00 am

    FYI My daughter did her camp a year ago. While she did have fun, it had nothing to do with skills and development. They all dress up and play games because Kristen gets the HS gym for free. I’m sure most kids will enjoy it, but I was expecting something a little more substantial for the money. There are many great camps for aspiring young players out there, you just have to look.

    • True Reality Speaks
      Mirror Mirror
      July 22, 2017 at 11:14 am

      AAU is a business – and often times a shady one that capitalizes on helicopter parents living vicariously through their kids or just trying to keep up with the Joneses. It is NOT about the kids.

      If you choose to pay the outrageous fees – don’t complain after the fact. It’s on YOU as the ADULT to do your research before allowing your child to participate.

      • aaumom
        July 22, 2017 at 11:27 am

        Yes of course it is a business, and many aspects are shady, but some are much shadier than others.

        • Mirror Mirror
          July 23, 2017 at 7:08 pm

          Agreed. Always do your homework on the coaches.

  • hoopsnation
    July 22, 2017 at 12:31 am

    Hey TB. I’m a little confused.

    Braintree HS principal James Lee was too gutless and cowardly to put the parents in their place and back up his star coach. AD Matthew Denice wanted to keep her, but was overruled by his superiors.

    I thought she resigned. This sounds like she was fired.

  • You're sh!t does stink!
    July 22, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Wow! That Kim Tonelli writes like she couldn’t pass HS English. Her mentality is evidently still that of a shallow HS teen.

  • NS Hoops
    July 21, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Happy to hear! Coached against Kristen back in the day. True class! Best wishes.

  • bad teacher
    July 21, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    Maybe TB can his job back at SHH

    • Jus Juzin
      July 21, 2017 at 11:25 pm

      No such thing as SHH. You mean SHRHS. At least figure out the real name of the school before you post your juvenile taunts!

      • Juvenile Juz
        July 22, 2017 at 7:12 am

        juvenile taunts???? that would be this entire blog llolz

        • True Reality Speaks
          Mirror Mirror
          July 22, 2017 at 11:08 am

          Yes – TB has done a god job of exposing the childish and selfish behavior of a few pathetic parents and their attempted smearing of a successful, respected coach who, despite these same “Dance Mom” parents has managed to bring unrivaled success to the Braintree girls basketball program.

          • juvenile juz
            July 22, 2017 at 11:39 am

            Mirror mirror, for god’s sake stop brown nosing TB.

            The entire TB blog website is based on juvenile taunts and abusing people
            at their weakest. Some may deserve it but many don’t.

            It’s all part of TB’s psychology, he lost his job due to foolish online comments.
            Now he lashes out at anyone else who fucks up online.

          • Mirror Mirror
            July 23, 2017 at 7:03 pm

            God – another self-inflated ego noob.

            How’s this, Juvenile Juz – Blow me.

            Been reading and commenting since the early days. You haven’t the slightest idea what TBS is about. Go back to Barstool with the rest of the middle school poseurs.

          • Plastic Mirror
            July 24, 2017 at 5:51 am

            I want to apologize for soliciting blow jobs on TBS.

            And yes It took me years to fully understand what TBS IS All ABOUT.
            Other people complete Law School in the time it took me to understand TBS.
            I am a level 14 TBS commenter with wizard powers and level 15 db.

  • Braintree HS
    July 21, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    Official original email from the Braintree High School Headmaster that has made it’s way around the town.

    Good afternoon,

    I am writing to each of you as you were part of a communication from the head coach of our girls’ basketball program. First I need to let you know that neither the Braintree High School administration nor the Braintree school district administration had prior knowledge of, or had given approval to, the messages that were sent to you over the weekend by Coach McDonnell. The Braintree Public Schools does not condone or support employee communication of this nature.

    As you may already know, Coach McDonnell has decided to resign as the Girls’ Varsity Basketball coach. Regardless of your opinions of her decision, we now ask all adults with students involved to help us bring closure to this situation. As adults, we owe it to these young women to act civilly and politely, and to move forward. The advent of social media has created a tenuous environment in which to engage emotionally charged discussions, and we encourage parents to work with their children to stay off of these mediums. The safety, health, and emotional well-being of these young people is paramount and confrontational dialogue does nothing to make them feel secure. We ask you for your help in creating a better environment for all of them, both in school and in the community.


    Jim Lee


    • PaulF
      July 22, 2017 at 8:04 am

      Is this accurate? If it is then this coach obviously was forced to resign. I know she has a great record, but I sounds like she created a huge problem for the school system.

      • Baller7
        July 22, 2017 at 8:06 am

        Yeah. What’s going on in Braintree. How did she get her job back?

      • Denzel
        July 22, 2017 at 9:11 pm

        The problem is people were exposed. Yea. The bullies who wrote those letters. If I received those letters I wouldn’t either resign or file a complaints with the ACLU. It exposed how gutless the administration was when it came to supporting an employee under duress. “I tell my daughter to just core” No successful coach should have to go through that. It’s not right. I’ve been watched and heard plenty of jealous parents. Everyone thinks their kid is great but if that’s the case apply for the job just like everyone else. Also everyone on a team cannot be a top scorer. There are roles distributed. If you don’t like Ike it then tanager your kid out to an inferior program or to a catholic or private school. Last time I Checked there is no I in team.

        • Miked
          July 22, 2017 at 10:08 pm

          The problem is you have a coach that couldn’t deal with 3 emails in 9 years, so she went on a drunken late night rant and released them all because her feelings were hurt. Kristen McDonnell is the snowflake.

          • Real Wamp
            July 23, 2017 at 12:23 am

            Is that Mike Denise chiming in??
            Do you mean how Tonetti went to the awards ceremony and stared down the coach and gave dirty looks to her throughout the ceremony? Then he sent an email showing off his parenting skills and attacking a coach’s character that probably makes $5,000 Per season. Yeah if someone did that to you, I would guess you would also respond. Let’s not pretend like we know how Many emails were sent from these parents but we have seen a few of them.
            I don’t care if you like Coach McDonnell or not but if administration and the AD had done their job none of this nonsense would have happened. Both sides should agree with that.

          • Roberta Turner
            July 24, 2017 at 3:26 am

            Just maybe parents should concentrate on their parenting and communication skills and stay out of the coaches locker room

    • True Reality Speaks
      Mirror Mirror
      July 22, 2017 at 11:03 am

      In other words, now that the entitled, whining parents have succeeded in running an eminently qualified coach out of town – please refrain from using your kids to pile on and gloat about your victory. You are only exposing how pathetic your lives are and we don’t want you to support and expose how spineless and political our school system is. Thank you for your cooperation.

    July 21, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Note to SJW’s, speak the truth and wrongs can be righted by the power of the pen and the people

  • Braintree townie
    July 21, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    You people are so naive. This is all about the money! Pat Russell has the most outrageously priced AAU program in the state NEXELITE. He has every Braintree girl from the 4th grade up terrified that if she doesn’t play for him she will never make the high school team, because the high Kristen Mcdonnell is involved. Shes getting payed!!

    • BYS
      July 22, 2017 at 8:30 am

      Unfortunately this a common problem with AAU programs and HS coaches. Braintree already had a similar problem with the soccer coach years ago and he was fired.

      • Braintree townie
        July 22, 2017 at 8:42 am

        Yeah but this guy charges about 3 times what most programs do, to go to a gym with about 100 kids of all ages running around with only 3 or 4 coaches.

        • True Reality Speaks
          Mirror Mirror
          July 22, 2017 at 10:57 am

          Small town sports politics suck, but not as much as whining parents living vicariously through their kids. Get a life, snowflake.

        • Real Wamp
          July 22, 2017 at 6:25 pm

          Yeah he charges three times the amount bc his teams go to showcases all over the country! He doesn’t play down The U, or Kingston or in Mansfield every weekend. They go to real tournaments. Get your facts straight!

      • Real Wamp
        July 22, 2017 at 6:27 pm

        Again get your facts straight! The old girls soccer coach was let go bc he was getting athletes out of trouble.
        Current boys soccer coach runs one of the most successful club teams around. Nobody is complaining.

  • Tom Jones
    July 21, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Was it psycho parents or was it drunken late night rants from a psycho coach? The town of Braintree knows the real story. Tom Herlihy and Pat Russel got her back in because she couldn’t even get a job at Massasiot. LOL!!!

    • True Reality Speaks
      Tired of Don't Snitch Pussies
      July 22, 2017 at 10:53 am

      You lost – she won. Get over it, douche bag.

      July 23, 2017 at 6:54 pm

      I did? if being very vocal about the Braintree administration making a mistake not asking her to reconsider I’m ” guilty”. I’m very happy that the administration asked her back and she accepted. It’s good for the young ladies aspiring to play basketball at Braintree high.

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