Coulson swarmed with praise for IAS run

  • Jeff Coulson inside the inflatable dome at Indoor Action Sports in Greenfield on Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • The offices and sports court at Indoor Action Sports in Greenfield on Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Jeff Coulson stands on the basketball courts outside the inflatable dome at Indoor Action Sports in Greenfield on Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 4/23/2021 7:09:07 PM
Modified: 4/23/2021 7:25:28 PM

Jeff Coulson’s inbox has been flooded the past couple of days.

“I’ve gotten a gazillion emails — 100 percent all thanking me and wishing me well,” he said. “That’s a good problem to have.”

Folks were reaching out to Coulson after he announced Indoor Action Sports, the sports complex he owns at 1385 Bernardston Road, will close gradually over the next two months. He hopes to sell the 12.5-acre property by June.

“I’ve been sitting here ... responding to each email,” Coulson said Friday morning. “I heard from a woman who dated my youngest son back in the early ’90s who played at Indoor Action and now lives in New Hampshire and has been bringing her two kids to Indoor Action.”

He said the COVID-19 pandemic has helped him better understand life’s brevity and value. He said he wants to spend more time with his seven grandchildren.

“My oldest grandchild is 18 now and I thought, ‘Wow, this is going by way too fast. I need time to be with friends and family,’” the 71-year-old said.

Coulson, who founded the full-year club lacrosse program around 1990, said he has heard from many past players, including Zach Smith, a former Sacred Heart University athlete who from 2007 to 2019 held the NCAA record for faceoff wins.

Coulson said IAS’ metal building was built around 1990 by Joe White, who ran it as a small indoor soccer and box lacrosse complex until about 1994, when he gave it up. Coulson rented the facility from the bank for a year and then bought the property in 1995, putting up the famous dome in 1999.

Coulson said he plans to remain involved in lacrosse, which has been a lifelong passion. He played at Ohio Wesleyan University and is still connected to the program. He retired from playing when he turned 70.

Coulson said he and his wife, Giving Tree School founder Betsy Evans, whose national travel as an educational consultant has been upended by the pandemic, have lived in Gill since building their house 45 years ago. Her work has taken her to 42 states and seven countries, and although she and Coulson plan to remain active with Giving Tree, she does not plan to resume work travel.

“It’s OK to let that go,” she said with a light laugh, adding that she continues consulting via the online video conferencing platform Zoom. “Neither of us are totally sure what the future holds, but we are optimistic we will find a useful way to be in the world.”

Evans said she knows her husband will continue to be engaged in the sport he loves.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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