When Marty Nemecek left his longtime post at Utica High School to become Putnam Valley’s athletic director in July 2012, he reached out to Beacon High School athletic director Eric Romanino for advice.
Nemecek likely couldn’t have predicted then that he would be succeeding Romanino now.
The Beacon City School District approved Nemecek as its new athletic director at Monday’s board meeting, effective Feb. 27.
“I think Marty will do a tremendous job,” Romanino said. “He has a lot of experience in athletics and experience in Section 1, Conference I. I know him through those Conference I meetings and he reached out to me when he came to Section 1 for some guidance.
“After spending my entire career there (at Beacon), I hope I did some good things. I hope Marty builds on that and he has a solid foundation to work with.”
Romanino retired on Dec. 30 after serving 20 years as the Beacon athletic director and 34 years in the district.
Before coming to Putnam Valley, Nemecek served as an athletic director in the Utica City School District for a quarter-century.
Beacon board president Melissa Thompson said Nemecek was the district’s choice following “an exhaustive search.”
Among his past accomplishments, Thompson said Nemecek put together a reading program in which high school athletes read to elementary school children in their sports uniforms, and then shared experiences with the youngsters.
“It’s very important athletes are seen as leaders in our district,” Thompson said. “From what we’ve been told, Marty celebrates that.”
Nemecek has a tough act to follow.
Romanino made an indelible impact during his time as Beacon’s athletic director, and was named the 2013 Section 1 Athletic Director of the Year by the New York State Athletic Administrators Association. In his tenure, he assisted in redesigning Beacon’s high school and athletic facilities, and was key in bringing girls’ lacrosse to the school.
“Eric Romanino was the face of Beacon athletics. Marty has big shoes to fill,” Thompson said. “But we’re hopeful and optimistic he can fill them. This position is important in any district.
“I want to reinforce how excited we are to have him. The energy and experience he brings — he can engage students. We’re excited to have somebody that sees athletics for students of all levels.”
A.J. Martelli: 845-437-4836, email@example.com, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports