Matisi won’t be back at Range

GREENFORD — South Range is seeking a new girls basketball coach.

The school district decided to not renew veteran coach Tony Matisi at Monday’s Board of Education meeting.

South Range girls basketball went 14-9 this past season and have 92 wins and three district titles the last five seasons. Matisi finished with a record of 113-40 in six seasons at South Range. He previously coached at Youngstown Ursuline for eight seasons and Lowellville for 15 seasons. His career head coaching record is 479-187.

Matisi said he had no hint that this was going to happen and was already making plans for the upcoming season.

“We just had an exit meeting a few weeks ago and it seemed like everything went fine,” Matisi said.

Matisi said he got a call last Friday that the vote was probably not going to go his way at the board of education meeting.

“They said they were going in another direction,” Matisi said. “The board is sometimes a powerful tool.”

Matisi said he’s been around long enough to know how things go sometimes, but he said if South Range did not want him back he would have appreciated them telling him sooner.

“There were a couple of jobs I was really interested in,” Matisi said. “I even got offered one, but dummy me out of loyalty I had to turn it down. I definitely will be somewhere in the winter though because I don’t know what I would do with myself otherwise. I’ve had a few offers to be an assistant but we’ll see what else pops up.”

South Range superintendent Dennis Dunham said it was a difficult decision but the district decided it wanted to go in a different direction.

“Coach Matisi is a very caring and kind individual that represented South Range School and the basketball program in a positive light,” Dunham said. “Coaching decisions are never easy and it has been determined that we will seek other applicants for the position for the 2019/2020 school year. We wish Coach Matisi and his family the very best and thank him for his service to South Range schools.”