STAMFORD—Trinity Catholic High School athletic director Bob Robustelli has decided to leave his position at his alma mater, effective Jan. 9, 2019.
Robustelli, a 1970 graduate of then-Stamford Catholic High School, was athletic director for about 2 1/2 years. He was named in July 2016 and took over for Tracy Nichols, who had been the athletic director at Stamford Catholic/Trinity Catholic High School for the previous 34 years.
“Trinity Catholic High School was an important part of me. Trinity Catholic High will always be a part of me. I will dearly miss the kids and the coaches and all the people at the school who supported me,” Robustelli said. “I have been presented with a special new opportunity in the travel industry. I feel this is a time to do what is right for my family and myself.”
In addition to his work as Trinity Catholic athletic director, Robustelli retained his responsibilities as President of Robustelli Worldwide, LLC. A company specializing in event planning and travel to special events.
During his tenure, Robustelli was a pivotal force in Trinity Catholic High School’s ENVISION Capital fundraising program. He also oversaw the completion of the Crusaders’ Gaglio Field artificial turf field with lights. Besides football, the field is used for boys soccer, girls soccer and boys lacrosse.
The completion of Gaglio Field, however, has not resulted in a significant increase in enrollment at the school.
“The field had to be done. We had to have an artificial turf field. Whether it created interest to bring in more kids, I don’t know,” Robustelli said. “I do know in the FCIAC we are facing schools with big enrollment numbers. And bigger student numbers lead to better athletic programs. More kids to work with makes it easier to find the best kids and have depth on your roster. With our situation, there are often kids playing varsity who might be better served playing junior varsity to develop. I think there is a day coming where we can play with the best but we have to get the enrollment numbers up.”
In his time as athletic director, Robustelli was able to turn over the head coach job in nearly every sport the Crusaders participate in in the FCIAC.
“I have gone as far as I can go with the changes I felt needed to be done when I started this job. I’ve accomplished what I set out to do here at Trinity Catholic,” Robustelli said. “There is a special sports tradition here. Hopefully they can get the tradition back on a widespread basis. Some sports have it now. Some sports need work to get it back. My goal was to help get it back.”
The school hired a new marketing director last summer who has put forth a number of initiatives to try to boost overall enrollment.
“I love the school so much. They have great marketing plans. They have a great academic program,” Robustelli said. “The right message is getting out. People just have to come here and see it for themselves.”
Robustelli’s announcement comes one day after Donny Panapada, a 1993 Trinity Catholic graduate, stepped down as Trinity Catholic football coach after six seasons.
“I don’t know how fast the process for the football job opening will be,” Robustelli said. “Hopefully they will take my input which I’m happy to give.”
But Crusader Sports Nation will march on in 2019 without Bob Robustelli.
“I’m proud of where Trinity Catholic athletics is now from where we were when I arrived. We made great strides in our off-season workout programs as well. I’m proud of what this coaching staff has accomplished,” Robustelli said. “I did this because I love it. I love the kids. But it’s a tough, tough non-stop job. And now is the right time for me to leave.”