Top Sports Stories 2015: A coaching merry-go-round
Goodbye, Mike Buck. We hardly knew ye.
In a stunner, the new Greenport/Southold/Mattituck high school football coach stepped down before his team played one snap in a game this year.
Buck was hired to take over from Jack Martilotta as the Porters’ head coach. He had been on the job for only about five or six weeks before resigning after a physical education teaching job at Greenport High School that he had applied for didn’t go to him.
“It’s just really disappointing,” Buck told The Suffolk Times. “It was a tough decision to leave, but I have to look for my future, too.”
One of the possible repercussions to the teaching job going to someone else was a decision by Jim Caliendo to resign as Greenport’s athletic director following the fall season.
Caliendo, who was in his third year as Greenport’s athletic director, had nominated Buck to take over the Porters. Caliendo took note of Buck’s “impressive” résumé.
Buck is a former NFL quarterback who played for the New Orleans Saints, the Arizona Cardinals and the Miami Dolphins. He also coached the Tallahassee Thunder and the Norfolk Nighthawks in the Arena Football League.
While the Greenport school superintendent, David Gamberg, said he didn’t see a linkage with any of those issues, Caliendo said otherwise. He acknowledged that he was “very disappointed” that Buck didn’t get the teaching job. “It’s a part of it, I’m not going to lie,” said Caliendo. He added, “I’ve had a stomach ache for two weeks over this.”
Martilotta, who had stepped down as the head coach following the 2014 season to become the team’s defensive coordinator, found himself once again thrust into the head coaching job.
After winning their first two games, the Porters were shut out in their last four and finished with a 3-5 record.
“I feel bad,” Buck said of his decision. “I feel awful, but I still have to pay my bills.”
Photo Caption: Mike Buck, who coached Bishop McGann-Mercy to the playoffs in 2014, stepped down as the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck coach before the 2015 season started. (Credit: Katherine Schroeder, file)