Life moves fast, and so do life-changing events.
Brian Tardif’s situation is a case in point. A couple of weeks ago, he saw an opening for the Pierson athletic director position and applied for it. On Aug. 4, Tardif recounted, he had an interview with the Sag Harbor Union Free School District superintendent and the high school and elementary school principals. Two days after that, they asked for references. He was appointed to the post by the Sag Harbor school board on Aug. 8. The following day was his first day on the job.
It all came about at head-spinning speed.
“Jumping right into it,” said Tardif, 32, a former Mattituck High School sports standout who lives in Southold with his wife, Katherine Moore Tardif.
Tardif had been preparing to return to Quincy, Mass., where he had been teaching health and physical education. That was before he received the phone call from Sag Harbor Superintendent Jeff Nichols, letting him know he got the job, his first as an athletic director.
“So, this suddenly opened up and it was just pretty much a dream come true,” said Tardif.
Tardif was a three-sport athlete at Mattituck (Class of 2008) in soccer, basketball and baseball. Recruited by Monmouth University (N.J.) and West Point, he chose the former because he wanted a chance to play baseball following college. After a year at Monmouth, he transferred to LIU Post, where he continued to play baseball as a pitcher and earned a degree in health and phys ed.
Tardif served as a substitute teacher in the Mattituck-Cutchogue and Southold school districts for half a year before landing full-time teaching jobs in Lowell, Mass., and then Quincy.
Tardif has coached the Mattituck junior high school baseball team, assisted the varsity team, coached the Southold JV girls basketball team and has coached travel baseball. At Quincy, he coached middle school coed cross country and coed swimming.
Tardif replaced Don McGovern, who served on an interim basis after Eric Bramoff resigned last fall to become the Oyster Bay athletic director.
What have the first few days on the job been like?
“It’s been very busy,” Tardif said Friday. “It’s been a lot of learning, but I really look forward to it. It’s been a lot of fun just meeting people. Everyone’s been very helpful.”
“I really feel like I have a lot of support,” he added. “In no way at all do I feel like I’m in this by myself.”
By Friday, Tardif had already met a bunch of ADs at a Section XI meeting and looked into such things as filling coaching vacancies, exploring the interest level in certain sports and finalizing sports schedules. Monday will be the first day for varsity and JV sports practices. Middle school sports start in early September.
Tardif is fortunate in that he has no need to stress about South Fork traffic. He will take the ferries linking Greenport to Shelter Island and Shelter Island to Sag Harbor. “Two ferries and then I’m there,” he said.
It seems inevitable that at some point Tardif will cross paths with his younger brother Joe, another former Mattituck sports star (and ex-SUNY/Cortland baseball player) who coaches and works in the Mattituck-Cutchogue Union Free School District. Joe Tardif is an assistant coach for girls varsity soccer in addition to coaching JV girls basketball and JV baseball.
“It’s funny because I’m sure he’ll be here coaching against my teams and I’m sure some of my teams will be over there playing against them, so it will be fun to watch and I know my parents are excited to see that sibling rivalry all over again,” Brian Tardif said. “I’ll be wearing the Pierson red.”