Ron Tamraz has coached at S-GI for 15 years. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
For the past 15 years, Ron Tamraz has been the face of Springville-GI baseball.
This coming spring season, that will change. Well, at least for now.
Tamraz, who worked in the district as a biology teacher for 28 years before retiring this past spring, was not approved by the S-GI Board of Education at its Aug. 5 meeting to coach baseball for his 16th season.
The board had some answers at its Aug. 19 meeting.
Board president Allison Duwe spoke to The Journal following the meeting about the board’s plan of action following the 3-2 vote to not approve Tamraz.
“I would expect that we would be revisiting it sometime in the fall,“ Duwe said. “There was a desire on part of the administration to continue to table the item for further study. For procedural reasons, we took a vote, but again, that does not preclude the individual (Tamraz) from applying and being reconsidered.”
According to the minutes on the school website, “Administration is looking to see if there are other options.”
The appointment of 2015 spring coaches was tabled for executive session at the board’s July 8 meeting. The varsity baseball position was the lone appointment that was not approved by the board at that and it was then tabled for the Aug. 5 meeting.
S-GI superintendent Paul Connolly, as well as S-GI athletic director Joe Demartino, both approved Tamraz before the board voted upon it. Duwe didn’t comment on the reasoning on behalf of the board to not approve Tamraz, which is common for boards when discussing personnel positions.
Four community members addressed the board on Aug. 19 in regards to the board’s decision to not approve Tamraz. Five S-GI baseball players were in attendance wearing their baseball hats. Soon-to-be seniors Kyle McCarthy and Kyle Crotty addressed the board in support of Tamraz, while wearing purple shirts with the front of the t-shirt reading “One Team. One Mission. Respect #44.” McCarthy spoke for two minutes and closed with this:
“As players, we all respect our coach, we need him to play at the level that we want to play [at], “McCarthy said. “He pushes us to do our best. He gives us the coaching we need to be our best. We’re asking you, please, think of us as you make your decision.”
Crotty spoke of Tamraz’s guidance off the baseball diamond.
“He’s not just a coach to any of us,” Crotty said. “He’s always there for us. We can talk about an in-school problem, an out-of-school problem. Last year, when we lost a game, he told us we’d be back together.”
Linda Connors and Ted Winke also addressed the board. Connors had two sons play under Tamraz and she read a letter that her son, Michael, sent to her via email while he’s stationed in Korea.
“His knowledge and experience is unparalleled at the high school level,” an excerpt of Michael’s letter said. “The man could coach a college team...I genuinely enjoyed playing for T (Tamraz) and had fun.
“I wanted to show up and play ball. Sure, other coaches can make playing ball fun, but I guarantee that Springville will not find a replacement near the caliber of T as a coach... If this whole thing is about someone’s feelings getting hurt, I advise you to take the skirt off, Sally, and look at what’s best for [the] Springville Griffins as a whole.”
Winkey was the final community member to address the board in regards to Tamraz.
“With previous board action, I’m a bit troubled by it,” Winkey said. “And, as a former scholar athlete, I’m really troubled...Put the man that has been in charge and dedicated himself to the S-GI varsity baseball program for the last 15 years back the helm of its operation for 2015, and lets be done with it.”
Along with the public expression, Julie McCarthy, a parent, and Dave Buncy, head baseball coach at Pioneer, wrote letters to the editor that can be found at springvillejournal.com.
Tamraz was the only coach to apply for the position and Connolly didn’t offer a timetable on when the board will review Tamraz again. He noted that because it’s a spring appointment, there is no rush to push it forward right away.
“Fortunately, it’s a spring appointment,” Connolly said.
Tamraz was named ECIC III Coach of the Year in June, after leading Springville to the Section VI A2 championship game for the second straight year.