Head Cross Country Coach, Assistant Track Coach Peter Fortunato Steps Down; to go to Gr. Lowell Tech: Unfortunately, this coach is leaving | Sports

TEWKSBURY – After 12 years between volunteer, assistant and head coach in three different capacities, Peter Fortunato has announced that he is leaving Tewksbury Memorial High School as a teacher and coach of three sports, and will take up a teaching position at the Greater Lowell Technical High School from September.

A former three-sport athlete at TMHS who played football and truly excelled in indoor and outdoor track before embarking on a tremendous track and field career at UMass-Amherst, Fortunato became a volunteer cross-country and track coach. track in 2010, he rose through the ranks to become an indoor track and field coach for two years, an outdoor track and field coach for five years, and then a men’s cross country coach for the past ten seasons.

All combined, he coached 35 seasons and as a head coach he compiled a 55-42 record in cross country, which included co-coaching the 2012 team with Peter Molloy and the two guiding the Redmen to their first-ever Division 3 East Mass Championship title. Additionally, during his tenure, Fortunato’s teams won two Merrimack Valley Conference Division 2 titles, won nine competitions in 2016, the most in program history in about 20 years, qualified for the All-State Meet for a school-record six consecutive years, while the 2013 team finished fifth in the Division 2 All-State Meet.

He also compiled a combined record of 15-14 in his seven combined seasons as head coach of indoor and outdoor track teams. Overall, he finished with a 70-56 record.

“I’m happy for Peter. You never want to see someone who wants to grow professionally as a teacher, not have that opportunity,” said TMHS athletic director Ron Drouin. “For Peter to come a little closer to home, to do something different professionally as an educator, I’m happy for him. This is clearly a big loss for our men’s cross country program and our track and field program in general. Peter Fortunato was a very successful athlete here at Tewksbury High and he is a very thoughtful coach at Tewksbury High, he is a friend, extremely easy to work with and very organized. It’s a loss to our track program, no doubt. Huge shoes to fill in losing Peter.

“I only wish him the best. He’s been a terrific athlete and he’s just very easy to work with. Personally I’m happy for him but professionally that one hurts.

In his first six seasons as a cross country head coach, Fortunato had a 37-20 record, but in the past four years the record had fallen to 15-22 with three consecutive losing seasons, but that had absolutely nothing to do with his decision to leave.

“Honestly, I wasn’t looking to leave. I never thought I would leave Tewksbury. Obviously I was an athlete there and I’ve been teaching and coaching there for a while now. It was about making a decision that was best for my family,” Fortunato said. “Now that I live in Hudson, New Hampshire, the drive to Tewksbury is fine, but eventually someone sent me this opening (teaching job) at Greater Lowell Tech. I saw that it’s closer to my house, less time in the building, they pay a little more and our son Wilson can go to preschool there. It’s huge because currently he’s going to kindergarten (with my wife) Jamie and she’ll be on maternity leave this fall, so it makes sense for me to take this job.

“I will miss (the town crier) and everyone else I interact with at Tewksbury. Personally I think this change will be difficult for me because I will miss so many great people, but I know it’s good for Jamie, I know it’s good for Wilson and I know it’s good for my next son (due next month). Just being more available and being closer to my family, I think it will be better for everyone.

Fortunato said once he was hired, Greater Lowell cross country coach Matthew Murphy asked him to be an assistant and he said yes.

“I agreed to be an assistant cross country coach, but I don’t see myself being a head coach at all, and certainly not on the right track. Over the next ten years, I honestly can’t wait to coach Wilson’s sports and be able to play with him and just be a dad.

After his first two seasons as a volunteer/assistant coach, Fortunato was named co-coach of the boys and girls program with Molloy ahead of the 2012 season. That year, the boys won the D3 Eastern Mass Championship title. dramatically, the score narrowing to a tiebreaker with an ailing Mike Famiglietti finishing a place ahead of the Wellesley runner.

After that came five more years of the team enjoying successful seasons in the MVC, then post-season meets with five more All-State appearances, including a pair of third-place finishes at the Eastern Mass Meets.

“We had a long stretch (six years) to get to the All-State Meet and I’m still in touch with all those guys. From my early years, I didn’t realize how spoiled I was until later in my career, but I started my coaching career with Brian Amaral, Corey Thomas, the Darrigo Brothers and Mike Famiglietti, then c It was guys like Mario Fuchu, Ben and Joey Forest, Alex Hirtle and Patrick Carleton (who carried on),” Fortunato said. “I see these guys and every once in a while I go out for a run with them. These are the things, whether I’m in Tewksbury or here (in Hudson), these are the relationships that I know will last forever. It’s kind of a settled feeling for me knowing that I had those relationships, they’re already built and I’m going to keep those relationships and still be able to be more available to my family.

Fortunato admitted that leaving the cross position was the biggest hurdle in making this decision.

“I just have fantastic memories. Leaving the boys’ cross country coaching job was probably the hardest part of that decision. I loved that job. There’s a lot of work to be done with the organization, scoring and having to pretty much officiate matches, so it’s different from most sports with the amount of work that goes into the process of the competition day. I’m going to miss my athletes. J I’ve had a good relationship with those athletes over the years, probably as good as any we’ve had since the years we had Mike Famiglietti and Brian Amaral and those kids,” he said.

Along with all of the student-athletes who raced or played for Fortunato during his 35 seasons, he said he owed a lot of public thanks to the coaches he worked with, as well as other administrators.

“I also had the chance to train with great people. I had the opportunity to train with Steve Levine my freshman year or two which was amazing after racing for him. Then I coached with Peter Molloy, Fred Doyle, John Byrnes, Fran Cusick and Billy Meuse, although we only coached together for a short time. I only have good memories. Even the relationships I’ve built with the other coaches in the Merrimack Valley Conference.

“Patty Lally hired me as a teacher and she really gave me the opportunity to have a career at Tewksbury so I really have to thank her. Then I have to thank all the coaches I worked with and then Ronnie Drouin did a fantastic job as Sporting Director and I certainly have to thank him for all of his hard work and effort over the years I also have to thank Nancy O’Hare she’s just been absolutely huge especially in the last few years .

Drouin said the position has been posted and he hopes to name a replacement obviously as soon as possible.

About Edward Fries

Check Also

Business People: Hiring and Rewards in the Fort Wayne Area | Company

Cason Amornarthakij joined Do it Best as a Category Management Planner; David Badinasenior system administrator; …