September 2, 2014

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Back where it began: John Rositano, former player and coach in Lorain system, to lead Titans

LORAIN — As the Lorain boys basketball program looks to the future it is turning to a name from the past.

Rositano

John Rositano will be recommended to the board of education to replace Andy Bastock as the Titans’ coach at the May 14 board meeting.

Rositano, an Admiral King graduate who has coached the Amherst girls the past 10 years, was the boys coach at Lorain High School during the 1994-95 school year, and took over when Lorain and Admiral King merged, guiding the Lorain Admiral King boys from 1995-2002.

Rositano compiled a 129-69 record during his previous tenure at Lorain and Admiral King, winning a pair of Erie Shore Conference championships and being named the Erie Shore Conference coach of the year three times.

It did not take Lorain athletic director Bryan Koury long to decide on Rositano.

“John has a wealth of knowledge,” Koury said. “He has 26 years of coaching experience and has had a lot of success. When we posted the position internally he was one of three candidates we talked to. … His interview was very impressive and we’re very optimistic about the future.”

Rositano is leaving behind an Amherst girls program that has had a good deal of success under his guidance. He had a 147-75 record with the Comets, winning three Southwestern Conference championships and advancing to the regional final in 2005.

“One of the hardest things I have ever had to do was to tell the girls I was leaving,” Rositano said. “I have had so much fun with the girls over the years and I really have to thank the players, parents and administration for their unbelievable support.

“It was a tough decision, but the Lorain boys job was the only job I would have left for. I grew up there, played there and coached there. It’s hard to explain … once you have that Lorain blood in you it becomes a big part of you.

“This is a great opportunity and I am very excited. I think I can make a difference with these kids … both on the basketball court and in their lives.”

Amherst athletic director Ron Hause is thankful all Rositano did for the Comets.

“He created an atmosphere of success,” Hause said. “John instilled in the girls the ethic of hard work and showed them the benefits of hard work and dedication.”

Rositano is taking over a Lorain program that went 11-13 last season and lost to Brecksville in the Division I district semifinals. A bevy of sophomores played big minutes for the Titans last season, including Devon Andrews, a 6-foot-5 forward.

“There is quite a bit of talent there,” Rositano said. “I actually didn’t get to see them play last season because I was busy with my team, but I saw some film on them and they had a lot of talent.”

“However, coaching is not all about wins and losses. It’s about making a difference and helping kids grow as people and players. It’s about teaching kids about responsibility and accountability. If I can do a good job of teaching these things the wins will come.”

Rositano was part of the 1980 Admirals team that lost in the state championship game to Akron Central-Hower. He is a physical education teacher at Lorain, a fact not lost on Koury.

“John is here in the building and that’s a real benefit,” Koury said. “He interacts with the kids every day and is going to be a part of their lives both academically and athletically. He will get to spend time with them on the court and away from it. That’s a very positive thing for him as he looks to build the program his way.

“John has a plan in place and has never lost his enthusiasm for coaching. He dedicates a lot of time to basketball, looking at it as a 12-month job. This day and age, coaches working with high school athletes have to approach it that way.”

Contact Mike Perry at 329-7135 or macsportstalk@gmail.com.