Tyrese Sullivan is a two-time All-State basketball selection at Hillhouse, and a two-time team captain at the University of Rhode Island. He has also been a part of three CIAC championship teams at Hillhouse as an assistant coach.
Add head coach to his impressive basketball resume.
Formally approved by the West Haven Board of Education Thursday morning, Sullivan has been named the boys basketball coach at West Haven High, replacing Harry Bosley, who resigned a short time ago in May.
“I want to thank Mrs. (Pam) Gardner, Mr. (Neil) Cavallaro and Mr. (Jon) Capone for giving me this opportunity,” Sullivan said. “I do not take this lightly. I look forward to being the head coach at West Haven.”
Known for his offensive savvy as both a point guard on the court as well as his time as an assistant coach, Sullivan will look to get the program up and running again after missing the postseason last year.
“Ty excelled as a player at both the high school and college level, and has been an assistant coach at one of the most storied basketball programs in the state of Connecticut,” West Haven Superintendent of Schools Neil Cavallaro said. “He brings that winning culture to West Haven. Ty is committed to working year-round with our student-athletes and ensuring that they develop to their potential academically as well as athletically.
“Once our search began, and we started speaking to those who follow high school basketball in the area about potential candidates, the consensus was that if we could hire Tyrese Sullivan, we’d be getting one of the bright young minds in the game.”
Last season also saw Bosley put on administrative leave pending an investigation in January for allegations of emotional abuse of his players, which were found unsubstantiated by Cavallaro in May, before Bosley agreed to resign
The Westies made the CIAC state tournament in 13 of Bosley’s 16 seasons as head coach, also winning a pair of division titles. A 1976 graduate of West Haven, Bosley was in the midst of his 16th season as the head coach of the Westies and 24th overall with the program.
For Sullivan, the immediate goal will not only correlate with wins and losses. It will be about having a plan for the student-athletes to succeed on and off the court, as well as playing, and staying together as a family to develop a winning culture.
“It starts when you walk in that door,” Sullivan said. “We established that culture at Hillhouse. The wins will come. It is all about establishing a culture and making sure the student-athletes have a plan when they graduate, whether it is a plan of going to an institution of higher learning, joining the work force or doing something positive after. We have to instill that.”
West Haven athletic director Jon Capone is very happy with the selection, and feels the hiring of Sullivan is a new beginning for the boys’ basketball program, which is searching for its first state title in over three decades, since it won its only state championship in 1987.
“I believe Coach Sullivan’s philosophy, both on and off the court, will be a perfect fit for West Haven High School,” Capone said. “Our kids will make an immediate connection with Coach Sullivan, and I am looking forward to working with him in building a winning program.”
The search committee for a new head coach was very well represented, and was headlined by Superintendent Cavallaro, high school principal Pam Gardner, and Capone.
“Ty Sullivan will be a welcomed addition to the coaching ranks at West Haven High School,” Gardner said. “He values coaching the student-athlete on and off the court, with the ultimate goal of crossing the stage with their high school diploma. His wealth of experience as a four-year college basketball star at the University of Rhode Island and as an associate head coach in New Haven make him the ideal coach to build the basketball program at West Haven High School. I am excited for the new vision of our basketball program under Coach Sullivan’s leadership.”
As an assistant coach at Hillhouse, Sullivan was a big part of the preparation of the game plan as well as scouting teams.
Born and raised in New Haven, and currently residing in Hamden, the 35-year-old has the reputation for bringing a love and passion to everything he does. Basketball and academics are no different.
“The first thing we will do is make sure the kids are all academically sound,” Sullivan said. “We will make sure they are taking the right courses. We will work with the parents and get that communication going. The academics need to be on point and headed in the right direction.”
With success in the classroom, and togetherness on and off the court, he said the wins will follow.
“I am excited about the challenge,” Sullivan said. “This is something, that, in time, we will be able to accomplish. I am very confident in my abilities as a leader. This is a great opportunity. West Haven has a lot of great history with Reggie Hayes, Ms. Wanda Gibbs, Mrs. Bosley, Harry Bosley, to name a few, and my cousin Ivoree Stanley played with the program. I have a lot of respect for these people and this program. I saw this as an opportunity I could not pass up. I talked with (Hillhouse) coach (Renard) Sutton and he was very supportive. It is time for me to grow and see what I can do as the leader of a program.”