Hudson Valley Sports Report


Legendary Baseball Coach Says It Was Time, Will Become Assistant At Vassar

By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

This was not new.

This was not some spur of the moment decision.

Even before leading the Marlboro High School baseball team to its first state championship in baseball last spring, head coach Dave Onusko had already known that 2016 was going to be his last year.

The news only came to light on Thursday when it was announced that Onusko would be joining the baseball staff at Vassar College as an assistant coach.

“I retired from teaching three years ago,” Onusko told HVSR, “and I got the next two years in still coaching. But over that period of time there was a sense of removal. Not being in the building with the boys every single day was different. Difficult. Part of my core belief of high school sports was keeping an eye on them, being there for them.”

Onusko was the varsity coach for the Iron Dukes for 20 years, accumulating more than 275 wins, five Section 9 titles, a state final appearance in 2003 when the team lost 3-2 to Carle Place, and a state championship last year.

Onusko said he started getting the sense it was time even before the 2016 season began and decided internally that he would retire at the end of the year. But he never said a word.

To anybody.

Not only did he not want it to become a distraction to the team, he even went as far as to re-apply for his coaching position for the 2017 season knowing he was going to step down. That way, he said, he would ensure that an open position would not become public knowledge via a job posting in the school district.

“I didn’t tell anybody anything and I went about the season as normal. I didn’t want that to be the story,” he said. “When we started making our run in sectionals and then in the state tournament, I went ahead and applied just because I didn’t even want that in the conversation.”

So now he will trade the Marlboro ‘M’ for the Vassar ‘V’ on his uniform starting shortly.

“It was in the back of my mind to give college a shot,” he said. “When things settled down, I thought about Vassar and New Paltz, and things just worked out well at Vassar.”

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