Ross Fiorello has resigned as East boys basketball coach after nine seasons.
Fiorello compiled a 116-87 record at East and said he is leaving on “great terms” with the administrators and players. He said he does not rule out coaching in the future, and cited living and teaching in Canton and having to commute to coach in Akron as a reason.
“I am hoping to stay with it,” Fiorello said of possibly coaching in the future. “Things have changed. I can’t coach long distance and run a quality program. The kids have been great and we have had a lot of fun during the past nine years. It is hard to run a quality program and coach long distance, in my opinion.”
Fiorello guided East from 2004-2013. During his nine seasons at East, Fiorello led the Dragons to three district championships, two regular season City Series championships and three appearances in the City Series Championship game, winning it in 2012. He was named City Series Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2012.
“There is so much to be proud of from those nine seasons,” Fiorello said. “I have been fortunate to have good players. If you don’t have good players who don’t play hard, it is not going to happen. We had good players who played hard and we had quality kids on the court and in the classroom.”
Fiorello, 59, is in his second year as a special education teacher at Choices Alternative School in the Canton City Schools district. He previously was a special education tutor at East for three years.
Fiorello is a graduate of East Liverpool High School and Malone College. Over the past five years, East has the second-most wins (85) of any boys basketball team in Summit County, behind only St. Vincent-St. Mary (92).
Fiorello led East to Division II district titles in 2012 and 2009, and a Division I district title in 2010.
“We had some really good teams with some good players,” Fiorello said. “Montanize Woods, Michael Bickley and Davonte Brunson were three-year starters.”
Fiorello than rattled off former players Jackie Adams, De’Shon Hudson, Steve Thomas, Jason Pitts, Elvin Butler, Miles Hamilton, Finess Terry, Trevoris Bell, Raymond Evans, Mycle Shadie, Nate Gibson, Brandon Townsend, Sir Charles Travis, De’Ante Edmonds, Alontae McMeans, Derik Lewis, Colen Rushin, Eric Howell and Demetrius Ray as key players during the past nine seasons.
Fiorello, who is married to Janice Fiorello and has two children (Ross Jr. and Jay), was named the Summit County Coach of the Year by the Touchdown Club Foundation of Greater Akron after leading the Dragons to a school-best 23-2 record in 2011-2012.
Fiorello coached the Springfield boys basketball team from 1994-1999. He was an assistant boys basketball coach at Canton McKinley from 1982-1994.
“If something opens up where I am fit, I will consider it,” Fiorello said. “I am not burned out. . . . I am not closing the book on coaching. I hope to be coaching next year in the same capacity.”