By Michael Shen
It’s not every day that you find a school with an athletic instructor who has actually made it to the professionals, but here at South, Coach Ciro Ambrosio is a living example. Ciro is one of South’s year-round sports coaches, and, in addition to his coaching experience, Coach Ambrosio is a die-hard athlete in his own right. From a very young age, he has had an impressive sports background that eventually gave him a penchant to be a gym coach.
According to Coach Ambrosio, when he was a teenager, there were no TVs or cell phones to play games on. As soon as he finished school, he played outside every minute he wasn’t doing homework or eating dinner. Participating in every game from basketball to baseball, Coach Ambrosio quickly became a great athlete. In high school, he played three years of Varsity baseball and basketball. Oftentimes the youngest player, he was influenced by his older teammates. Although he claims that he was more talented than they were athletically, he still followed their lead and tried to imitate their best qualities. For example, Coach Ambrosio learned to give his 100% effort every day, every practice, and every game. He also learned to accept that everyone had a specific role to play. Following a high school career filled with athletic achievement, Coach Ambrosio got a full scholarship to play baseball at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus. There, all he did was play day in and day out. At the age of 21, he was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 1990 MLB June Amateur Draft. For two years, he played in the Minor Leagues. “There is nothing better than being paid to play baseball,” he says. Pulling together all of his hard work and dedication since he was a child, Coach Ambrosio proved to be a committed player who was willing to do anything possible to win.
At the end of his Minor League career, Coach Ambrosio changed paths and became a physical education coach, stating that he wanted to “give and share the skills [he] acquired with athletes every day.” With these proper skills, along with knowledge of a variety of sports, all children today can live better, healthier lifestyles, Coach Ambrosio hopes. As of now, he continues to coach Girls JV Volleyball, Boys JV Basketball, and Varsity Baseball. He also coaches a highly selective outside travel baseball team composed of athletes who are willing to give it their all in order to play college baseball.
To South’s athletes, he offers a few tips to be successful. “Be committed to what you start,” Coach Ambrosio says. “Always give it your 100%. Be true to your sport, but always remember to put school first.” Indeed, South is very grateful to have such an experienced mentor who has walked the path of playing college sports and who is completely dedicated to helping any and all athletes achieve their dreams, whether it be playing in high school, on the college level, or beyond.