Mike Monacelli, a Section V Football Hall of Fame coach after success at Caledonia-Mumford, has decided to return to the sidelines.
This will be a short comeback however, more of a highlight before Monacelli steps into a full-fledged retirement from the Caledonia-Mumford school district after 43 years.
Monacelli plans to be a part of the East team coaching staff led by Red Jacket’s Marc Vitticore during the annual Eddie Meath High School All-Star Football Game June 28. That staff also includes Dominic Monacelli, one of his three sons and an assistant coach at Red Jacket.
“He asked me to help,” Mike Monacelli said. “One thing I know is, that I’ll have less hair than they will.”
Monacelli, 65, retired as the Caledonia-Mumford football coach in 2010, but his days in Section V high school athletics continued for another 13 years. He said his final formal day as the Caledonia-Mumford athletic director is the day before the all-star game.
“I remember going to a convention and I’m sitting next to someone that ran Dade City Schools (in Florida),” Monacelli said. “He had 14 high schools and number of middle schools, but we had the same problems.
“Granted, his were a bit magnified, but we had the same issues. There’s all kind of things that walk in the door, you are a multi-tasker.”
Monacelli’s coached four state football and 10 Section V champion teams on his way to a 186-50 record. The word he described his role as an athletic director was “opportunity.”
“I wish I would’ve got into this position a little earlier,” Monacelli said. “It has been a good ride, I enjoyed mentoring coaches and seeing all of the athletes at our school, not just the football players.
“Without question, it was fun to be able to do that.”
There was no question who Brockport athletic director Chris Bourne wanted to follow into education and coaching as a young man. Bourne, 56, is an East Rochester graduate. He wrestled and played football teams coached by Don Quinn.
“Coach Quinn,” Bourne said. “He went to Cortland, and so I went to Cortland.
“I still see him and play golf with him to this day. When I was in school, he was funny, very popular and very successful. Those were the qualities I aspired to have.”
It was as a high school senior that Bourne said he decided to become an athletic director. His career, which will end at Brockport upon retirement on June 30, began 34 years ago at Wayne.
Bourne was a physical education teacher, an assistant principal and athletic director during two periods at the high school in Ontario County. He also coached the varsity wrestling teams at Wayne and Canandaigua before he was hired at Brockport.
The last two years, Bourne has held the role of an assistant wrestling chairman in Section V. When the state championships were hosted by Rochester in 2008, Bourne was the sectional chairman.
“Not only was it a great atmosphere in Blue Cross Arena, but (son) Brian also won a state championship that year,” Bourne said.
Bourne’s successor at Brockport is Todd Hagreen, son of former Greece Athena basketball coach Don Hagreen and an assistant principal in the school district. Hagreen will need to lend a hand in the hiring of a new varsity boys golf coach.
Steve Zaffuto, 55, is headed for retirement. An economics teacher, Zaffuto worked in the district where he attended high school for 31 years.
“We’re right up there with the big schools year in, year out,” Bourne said. “It’s Pittsford Mendon, Pittsford Sutherland, McQuaid and then us.
“We have a really nice program, Steve has done a tremendous job. He’s as good as anyone teaching the skills of golf.”
Zaffuto also recognized the need to recruit, if Brockport’s boys golf team was to remain competitive.
“The hardest thing about coaching (high school) golf is that you have to find kids who are interested in playing,” Zaffuto said.
Eight years ago, Zaffuto began to hold clinics for eight to 10 years olds in and around Brockport.
“It’s been a feeder program,” Zaffuto said. “I’ve got seventh- and eighth-graders on the JV. It keeps the varsity going strong.”
Mark Hoyt at Brighton and Greece Athena’s Jim Johnson also will retire from jobs in school districts this month, but both expect to remain as coaches.
“I can’t go from doing the 12- to 14-hour days to doing nothing,” Hoyt said.
Not even after 45 years in the Brighton district, including in a role as a special assistant who played a large role in the expansion of what is now Twelve Corners Middle School. He has been on a coaching staff, if not the head coach, in every sports season since he was hired by the Brighton district.
A celebration for Hoyt is scheduled for June 21 at the Riverside Convention Center.
A retirement party was held for Johnson on Thursday, to mark the close of his days as a physical education teacher and a move into a career as a professional speaker.
Johnson is the coach of a Greece Athena varsity boys basketball team that may be the area’s best next winter. The Trojans, winners of Section V titles the last two seasons, expect two All-Greater Rochester players back in their starting lineup.