Bar­low’s Ty­nan re­tires af­ter 27 years as foot­ball coach

The News-Times (Sunday) - - Front Page - SPORTS

The cu­mu­la­tive years of coach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence within the SWC took a mas­sive hit inside a week once the 2018 season ended. Long­time Brook­field coach Rich An­garano re­tired af­ter 20 years at the helm, end­ing one of the most con­sis­tent ca­reers in the state.

And the long­est tenured coach in the con­fer­ence who helped build his own pro­gram and en­joyed suc­cess is hang­ing up his head­set, too.

Rob Ty­nan con­cluded his 27-year ca­reer at Joel Bar­low fol­low­ing his team’s Thanks­giv­ing game against We­ston. The Fal­cons fin­ished this season 5-5; Ty­nan reached the de­ci­sion last spring and told his team be­fore the season be­gan as to avoid any po­ten­tial dis­trac­tion.

“Hon­est truth I was tired; it’s a coach­ing cliché but the losses hurt so much (more) than wins,” said Ty­nan. “The last 41 years of my life — whether it was player or coach — has been in foot­ball. I just looked at my fam­ily and thought it’s time to try to do some­thing else.”

Ty­nan — who has worked at the school in se­cu­rity for more than two decades — was a wide-eyed 24-year-old when he took the reins with the Fal­cons in 1992, and times were dim. Just 18 play­ers made up the pro­gram and the team had won less than five games com­bined within a five-year stretch.

“A lot of that has to do with the kids, and buy­ing in to get into the weight pro­gram,” Ty­nan said. “We weren’t phys­i­cal enough back in those early years to com­pete. Get­ting that go­ing and the thought of con­di­tion­ing, and even ex­plain­ing to the par­ents if you don’t want your kid to get hurt, come to the sum­mer work­outs.”

Ath­letic Di­rec­tor Michael San­tan­geli — who was one of the first no­ti­fied of the de­ci­sion back in the spring — would know all too well about Ty­nan’s im­pact. The Bar­low grad­u­ate was a cap­tain his se­nior year, Ty­nan’s first with the school, and re­turned af­ter col­lege to be an as­sis­tant coach for eight sea­sons.

That pat­tern con­tin­ued as many for­mer play­ers re­turned to the school to join Ty­nan’s staffs.

“He’s one of the most knowl­edge­able foot­ball coaches I’ve ever been around in ei­ther high school or col­lege,” San­tan­geli said. “He came into Bar­low when it was a real (down pe­riod) and he worked to build it up and it’s much more suc­cess­ful now.”

His legacy will be the undy­ing com­mit­ment to the triple-op­tion of­fense, one that’s re­ceived sev­eral facelifts over the years. Op­pos­ing coaches over the years of­ten spoke of the dif­fi­culty of prepar­ing for the at­tack

on a week’s no­tice.

It’s a phi­los­o­phy that didn’t change de­spite a host of pro­grams’ tran­si­tion into pass-heavy of­fenses with vary­ing de­grees of suc­cess.

“Rob is a class act,” said An­garano. “He’s al­ways been a great com­peti­tor and you can see by his teams he’s done a lot for his kids he’s coached. You don’t put 27 years into a high school pro­gram with­out hav­ing an im­pact on the play­ers.”

Ty­nan al­most saved his best for last, though. The Fal­cons went 9-4 in 2017 to earn the SWC Di­vi­sion II cham­pi­onship be­fore mak­ing their far­thest run in states. Bar­low up­ended Shee­han and SMSA be­fore fall­ing to Killingly in the Class M fi­nal, a first ap­pear­ance for the school. Bar­low reached the semi­fi­nals in 2013 be­fore a loss to St. Joseph.

“I will say our best teams al­ways were the teams that were the clos­est-knit,” Ty­nan said. “If the kids were such close bud­dies, they would put on that kind of pres­sure on each other as friends to not screw up. Win­ning does help ex­cite­ment ob­vi­ously. … go­ing to the state fi­nal and what it did for the com­mu­ni­ties of Eas­ton and Red­ding was phe­nom­e­nal.”

He didn’t rule out a re­turn to the side­lines in some ca­pac­ity af­ter some time away from the grind.

“I don’t know; I might do it for a year and my wife might tell me to get out of here,” Ty­nan joked. “I have a bunch of kids play­ing in col­lege and I’ve never seen them. I’ve been to four col­lege games in my en­tire life. Might I get back into it? Ab­so­lutely. Might I not? Ab­so­lutely.”

More than a quar­ter cen­tury af­ter be­gin­ning his jour­ney, Ty­nan leaves the Fal­cons in a much health­ier position than when he ar­rived.

“He’s been go­ing at it for 27 years; coach­ing foot­ball is a huge com­mit­ment,” San­tan­geli said. “He’s never had a fall where he’s en­joyed be­ing with his fam­ily. He’s got­ten to the point where he’s done ev­ery­thing for the pro­gram.”

Krista Ben­son / For Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Bar­low coach Rob Ty­nan is seen dur­ing the Joel Bar­low and SMSA/Univer­sity/Clas­si­cal Mag­net Class M state foot­ball semi­fi­nal, at Joel Bar­low in Red­ding on Dec. 3, 2017. Bar­low beat SMSA 53-14 to reach the Class M fi­nal.

David Harple / File photo

Bar­low foot­ball coach Rob Ty­nan watches play­ers at work.

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