Coach Ricky Narracci is a Physical Education and Health teacher, the head boys basketball coach, and an assistant softball coach here at EHHS. He has been coaching and teaching at EHHS for 12 years, starting back in 2000, with a four year gap when he went to North Haven High School. He has just completed his second six year run at EHHS.
Coach Narracci’s first job was in 1997 coaching freshman basketball at Westbrook High School and coached at other schools, including North Branford, Amity, Guilford and North Haven coaching basketball, tennis, lacrosse, cross country, volleyball, softball and track and field. He has coached both boys and girls in different sports and believes that there is little difference in coaching both genders. “It’s different in terms of personalities and conflicts and how they deal with each other,” he says. “With boys, there is less conflict, less drama but I think the girls are more enjoyable to coach on a day to say basis. They listen more,” commented Narracci. However, he says that there is also not much of a difference between girls and boys because if the kids want to compete and get better and learn, it’s all the same.
In all his years of coaching, he has learned how to work with people, within a team, how to lead but also how to follow, how to take direction and how to take disappointment. He has observed and worked under other coaches he respects and looks up to. When getting into coaching, it is important to get under someone that you respect and that is respected in the coaching community. Coach Narracci had worked under Pete Shuler, the North Branford girls and boys basketball coach who made his mark winning numerous state championships. He earned almost every coaching award that there is. Narraci worked under Pete for three years and then mentored under his father and Coach Ed Crisafi. Coach Narracci says, “When you are a young coach, you try to take pieces from different guys and girls you learn from and then you add your own style to it. So you take from other people but you still have to be your own person.”
He hopes that next year he will be stepping up for the position of Coach Augustine’s for the EHHS golf team. Coaching golf has always been his dream position and every year in June, he holds a golf tournament where they get close to 100 guys playing and having fun.
This year, Coach Narracci has been filling in for one of the coaches for the softball team and has made an impact on many players. Senior Captain Jenna Esposito commented that Narracci is a great coach, he makes sure that they are doing the drills to the best of their abilities and he knows how to adjust them physically and mentally to be sure the drill is helping and developing them. Junior Stephanie Sorrentino commented, “Coach Narracci has helped my confidence. He has been a valuable addition to the softball family. He instills confidence in the players throughout the games which allows them to believe in themselves and in turn helps them to produce at the plate or in the field.” Both Stephanie and Jenna believe that bringing Coach Narracci onto the team has helped improve the team’s confidence and skills throughout the season.
Alongside working as a coach for the softball team, he has coached the boys basketball team for many years here at EHHS. Senior captain Nathan Furino has been coached by Coach Narracci for 4 years. He said, “He taught me to never take anything for granted and to just play with a winning mentality. My favorite memory is when we had just won a big game and he walked into our locker room with our new mascot’s head on that made us laugh and also pumped us up.” Sophomore Ian Reynolds, shooting guard has been coached by Coach Narracci for 2 years talked about how Coach Narracci has influenced him to get stronger and better.
Coach Narracci has influenced many athletes and students in his years of teaching and coaching. He has helped many athletes become stronger, better and influenced them to want to play the sports he is coaching. He has impacted these students mentally and physically whether it be on the field, the court, the track or its in a classroom, he always finds a way to help everyone.
Photo Credit: New Haven Register