Melbourne Central Catholic High School’s humble beginnings started as a dream of three local pastors who were steadfast in encouraging the school’s emergence in a community where no Catholic high school existed. Their inspiration, along with the patronage of the Most Reverend Joseph P. Hurley P.D., Archbishop of St. Augustine, resulted in breaking ground in 1961 for Brevard County’s first Catholic high school. Buildings were erected on 40.59 acres positioned on East Florida Avenue in Melbourne, FL. During the building of the school, students occupied rented barracks across from the Melbourne Airport, which was shared with Brevard Engineering College.
In 1962, four Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, NY, joined the faculty. Rev. Peter Dolan, one of the three pastors who founded the school, became the first President/Principal of the new school. Mother Marguerite O’ Connell soon was appointed as the Principal and Fr. Dolan continued as the President.
In January of 1963, the sophomore class entered the new building for the first time. A convent for eight sisters was completed that year. Over the next 11 years, a gymnasium/auditorium was constructed along with the addition of baseball fields and dugouts, a football field, and a softball field.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools fully accredited the high school’s first graduating class in 1965. In 1968, MCC became part of the newly formed Diocese of Orlando under Bishop William Borders.
The 1980’s and 1990’s were a time of expansion of infrastructure to accommodate the needs of a growing student population. A new library was built, older buildings were air-conditioned, and a new science building of 21 classrooms was constructed.
The academic programs grew as well. The curriculum changed dramatically in foreign language, science, social studies, English, computer science, and mathematics under the guidance of the school’s Academic Council, which consisted of all department heads. Honors classes and Advanced Placement courses were introduced into the curriculum. In 1990, MCC received the prestigious U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence recognition.
MCC continues to upgrade and integrate sophisticated technology and state-of-the-art equipment in support of teaching and learning opportunities which prepare students to enter the digital age. Athletics have also expanded to include many outstanding sports, such as football, basketball, soccer, golf, tennis, swimming, baseball, softball, volleyball, track, and cross country.
The faculty now consists of 42 lay teachers with most having earned advanced degrees. In 1989, the last of the Sisters of Alleghany left both the education field and MCC after many years of dedicated service.
MCC has a tradition of excellence, graduating many National Merit Scholars, National Hispanic Scholars, and Advanced Placement Scholars. On the state level, MCC has won recognition in Foreign Language competitions, Odyssey of the Mind, Science Fairs, and Bright Future Scholars. Our students continue to excel and exceed national averages on the ACT and SAT tests.
MCC has thrived as a college preparatory school for many years as demonstrated by the fact that a 100% college acceptance rate is typical for each graduating class. The school continues to live up to its founding mission of excellence in academics, service, athletics, arts, and Catholic leadership. This commitment drives and inspires us to meet the needs of our youth in an ever-changing world.
History of the Hustler
Even though MCC's student nickname the "Hustlers" has a somewhat mysterious history, alumni and fans alike are passionate about the name. Legend has it that the name was selected by the school's first president, Fr. Dolan who was a University of Maryland Terrapin football fan and admired the name of its offensive line - the Hustlers. According to the University of Maryland archives, the Hustlers was the nickname for the offensive specialists under Coach Tom Nugent in 1962. When looking for a name for Brevard's new Catholic high school, Fr. Dolan thought that every team should exhibit hustle, thus the name "Hustlers" was born.