July 26 – Happy Birthday Bob Noto

Bob and his son Bobby at Father-Son game in Cooperstown a few years ago.
Bob and his son Bobby at Father-Son game in Cooperstown a few years ago.

I’ve known Bob Noto for a long time. When we were kids, we lived about three blocks away from each other on Amsterdam’s West End. I was just a year older than him so we both attended Guy Park Elementary School together and since he played trombone and me the trumpet, we were in band together during our Junior High days. But that one year difference in age kept us from establishing a close friendship as kids. There are some things I do remember about him though. He was a pretty quiet kid. He loved sports and like me, he adored the New York Yankees.

Bob played football and baseball for Brian Mee during his own high school career and then went to college with a plan. He intended to return to Amsterdam one day to teach, coach and eventually become the AHS Athletic Director. He would bulls-eye all three.

I got to know Bob better when my oldest son Matt played JV football for him at Amsterdam High School in the early 1990’s. The way he handled those boys really impressed me. He wasn’t a screamer or a rah-rah type of personality, but he was an excellent communicator. He told his players what he expected from them, he prepared them well and he never lost his patience when they struggled. My son loved playing for him.

It was Frank Derrico, the Hall-of-Fame AHS Football Coach who gave Bobby his start in the AHS football program…

You can read the rest of my story about this Amsterdam-born coach in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.

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