Osinski retires from coaching basketball at Guilderland

GUILDERLAND — After coaching varsity basketball in Section 2 for the better part of the last 34 years — the last 14 seasons with Guilderland — Ron Osinski has decided to retire.

Originally, Osinski had thought that he would tell his Dutchmen team that he was going to retire after winning the 2014 Class AA championship, but that didn’t happen. Green Tech won, 65 to 56.

“That was a really tough loss, so I couldn’t tell them then,” Osinski said this week; he’s vacationing at his house in Cape Cod. “I wanted to see what September was like, and it’s just time.”

After graduating from the University of Brockport in 1973, Osinski got right into coaching when he got summoned to coach a Catholic Youth Organization team. From there, he started coaching at his alma mater, Draper High School, in 1976 as the junior-varsity coach, and then the varsity coach in 1980.

Upon getting a physical-education teaching job at Schalmont in 1986 — where he stayed on until his retirement in 2013 — Osinski started coaching Schalmont’s junior-varsity basketball team, and then the varsity from 1988 to 1998. He stepped away for the 1998-99 season to be able to watch his two sons, Corey and Kevin, whom he had coached at Schalmont, play college hoops for Siena and the University of Binghamton.

“I didn’t know if I was going to go back after that,” Osinski said of his year watching from the bleachers. “I was very busy watching my sons play; we traveled all over the country. Sometimes, my wife and I used to drive to Jersey City for games, and then come back for work the next day.”

However, Schalmont needed a coach for the freshman boys’ team for the 1999-2000 season, and Osinski took the spot. The team ended up going 19-0.

“That was a lot of fun,” said Osinski. “There have been some exciting moments, like Schalmont’s comeback win in regionals in 1996. We were down four with 19 seconds to go.”

Osinski won his first sectional championship in 1986 with Draper, and then won two Class B titles with Schalmont in 1990 and 1996. He said that Guilderland is an “awesome” place to be a coach, but regrets being unable to win a championship; Guilderland reached the finals in 2004 and 2014.

“We had some phenomenal seasons,” Osinski said of Guilderland. “It’s not fair to rate all the places I’ve coached at, but Guilderland was the highest level, and as a coach, you work to keep moving up.”

Osinski, 63, finishes with a career record of 446 wins and 215 losses, which is a .675 winning percentage. He says that averages out to about 15 wins per season.

As someone who worked for 48 years, Osinski said that it was easier to retire from teaching because coaching basketball is much more enjoyable.

“I would never say never, but I’m enjoying other facets of life right now,” said Osinski. “It does feel a little weird though.”

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