New Starpoint athletic director Vinny Dell'Oso should have a pretty seamless transition. The school's former AD, Tom Sarkovics, will be kept on staff for the 2019-20 school year to help Dell'Oso in this transition period. Sarkovics will now hold the position of athletic facilitator.
Sarkovics talked about the concept of his new role and what it entails as he helps bring Dell'Oso along.
"Basically, it's a transition year," Sarkovics said in a phone interview on Monday. "We think we've had a pretty good program at Starpoint and to make it a smooth transition, they're gonna keep me on as a facilitator, basically the same job that I had."
The big difference now will be that Sarkovics will be handling part-time responsibilities in the Spartans' athletic office, while Dell'Oso will be a full-time administrator. Outside of his AD duties, Dell'Oso will be involved with health and physical education courses as well.
Sarkovics served as the Starpoint AD for 15 years prior to Dell'Oso's arrival. He will be in place to handle some of the minutiae for Dell'Oso, like making sure that referees are available on game days, ensuring the operation of the scoreboard is intact, handling of the department's wall of fame and assigning chaperones for events.
Prior to taking the position with Starpoint, Dell'Oso spent nine years in the West Seneca Central School District, where he was the principal of East Middle School for three years and the district's director of athletics for six years. He also spent eight years in the Lewiston-Porter Central School District, serving as the high school athletic director for his first three years before he became the principal of Lewiston-Porter Middle School for his final five years.
With Sarkovics helping Dell'Oso with this transition, the latter is really excited about the mentorship he will receive from his predecessor.
"I'm looking forward to working with Sark. He's been there a long time," Dell'Oso said. "He's done great things with the athletic department while he was there.
"Just a lot of the day-to-day stuff and how things have been running at Starpoint, really is what I'm hoping to pick up from Sark. ... I'm not gonna come in and change things right away, I want to see how things go. Again, (I want to) learn kind of some of the ins-and-outs of the district through Sark."
Dell'Oso already has a familiarity with Starpoint — his two children, Joseph and Carly, are currently a senior and a sophomore, respectively, at the school. The younger Dell'Osos are also student-athletes, which allows their father to be involved in their high school athletic careers in a unique way.
"I'm excited because I get to be a little bit a part of their athletic careers on a different level now," Dell'Oso said. "Just as their athletic director and supporting them, the school, their classmates and their teammates. (I'm) trying to take Starpoint to the next level, as far as athletics goes. But for me, they're in for summer workouts now, so I get to see them (training) everyday. Not many people can do (this) in their careers and I feel fortunate that I'm gonna be able to do that."
Starpoint is one of several schools in the Erie County Interscholastic Conference to bring on a new athletic director over the last few years, and Sarkovics said Starpoint's process is unique.
"Most of the schools are just hiring one person," Sarkovics said, "a new person from outside to take over. As you look at that, that's gotta be a tough thing. They're doing all this stuff without knowing the teams, the schools (or) the coaches. I think Starpoint's done a great job allowing me to stay on for another year."
Before he was slotted as Starpoint's AD, Sarkovics was also a coach for the Spartans for 34 years. With some extra time on his hands, he may volunteer as an assistant coach with the basketball and baseball teams this year. He'll also be able to spend time with family, most notably going to visit his two grandchildren who live in New Jersey.
Sarkovics also hopes to be back at Starpoint for the 2020-21 school year, which would mark his 50th in the district. He has no worries about how Dell'Oso will step in for him and what the future may hold for Starpoint athletics, with the possibilities of adding sports like indoor track and field and lacrosse and installing more turf fields outdoors.
"The future is only brighter for Starpoint ... ," Sarkovics said. "Mr. Dell'Oso and I have worked together for the last few years because he was at West Seneca and us being in the ECIC, so I've known him. I actually coached against him when I was coaching baseball and he was playing at Roy-Hart, so I've known him for years. I went to Brockport, he went to Brockport. We're pretty close already. ... They couldn't have gotten a better person to take over for me."