Bob Noto played football and baseball for Brian Mee during his Amsterdam high school days back in the early 1970’s 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.
My oldest son Matt played on the JV football team Bob coached 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. Noto gives him and Mee much of the credit for how he shaped his own coaching philosophy. But it was his longtime partnership with Derrico’s successor, Pat Liverio for which Noto is best known. Liverio made Noto the Rugged Rams offensive coordinator and gave him complete autonomy in that role. It turned out to be one of the most productive partnerships in AHS sports history.
In the year 2000, Noto took over the AHS AD’s role on a part-time basis while still teaching physical education full time and maintaining his coaching job too. His part-time salary as AD saved district taxpayers thousands of dollars during the decade he held that position and Bobby somehow managed to maintain his sanity and his marriage to Cindy while doing three jobs at the same time. Before retiring in 2012, he capped of his career by spending four seasons as head coach of the AHS Varsity Baseball team.
Even though he’s retired, Bob continues to contribute to the school and community he loves. The AHS Hall of Fame was Bob’s idea and he served as the first Chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee until 2019. His hard work and leadership helped get the fledgling organization off to a solid start. He also serves on the coaching staff of AHS Varsity baseball coach Robbie Hisert.
Bob grew up in the same neighborhood as I did and his parents were classic Amsterdam West Enders. His Mom Mary was the go-to hair dresser where we lived and his Dad Lou Noto, a guy who worked two jobs and still had time to devote thousands of hours to help organize, manage and coach Amsterdam’s Wee Men’s Baseball over the years. Bobby’s older brother Lou Jr. was also a talented football player and later a highly admired coach at AHS. He and his lovely wife Cindy are the proud parents of three children and if you ask Bob what the biggest thrill of his career has been he would not hesitate in telling you it was the opportunity to coach both of his daughters, Elizabeth and Lisa and his son, former AHS all-league QB Bobby Noto.