This story has been updated.
YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. - After 16 years at the helm of one of Westchester County's most successful sports programs, Yorktown Central School District Athletic Director Fio Nardone has announced that he will retire at the end of the school year.
Nardone said he was fortunate to work at a district like Yorktown, which puts a strong emphasis on sports.
“Sports is really about the students and how sports can enhance their educational experience, Nardone said. "It has been my privilege to work with such a talented administrative team, coaching staff and such talented student-athletes."
Nardone said the program was thriving when he arrived. "Before I arrived, the program was at a high level," he said. "This community takes sports very seriously. And since I arrived I think the level is still high."
Yorktown High School is already in the process of hiring a new athletic director to take Nardone's place. Superintendent Dr. Ralph Napolitano praised Nardone for his dedication and commitment to the district.
“Mr. Nardone seems to be everywhere from Monday through Sunday to support our teams," said Napolitano, who also just announced he will be retiring after this school year. "It is he who sets the examples of perseverance and commitment that are followed by our coaches and student-athletes, many of whom are scholar-athletes. He will be missed, there is no doubt, and his influence will have a lasting effect in our district and on our program."
During his 16 years at Yorktown, Nardone oversaw the construction of new turf and softball fields and the remodeling and renovating of the fitness centers at both the high school and middle school buildings. He played an integral part in the renovation of the swimming pool, as well as the complete remodeling of the locker rooms in both the high school and middle school.
“He will be a hard act to follow,” Dr. Napolitano added.
"I really am proud of the updating of facilities inside and out," Nardone said. "The facility is on a different level, and that's probably what I am most proud of. But it wouldn't have happened without Dr. Napolitano and the school board. I had a vision, but they had the resources to make it come to fruition."
Nardone had worked as a teacher in New Rochelle before coming to Yorktown. He also coached varsity basketball at Harrison High School.
This year, Nardone was given the Don DeMatteo Service Award by the Section 1 Football Coaches Association . In 2015, he was named the Section 1 Athletic Director of the Year by the New York State Athletic Administrators Association.
Nardone plans to spend time with his wife, Angela (retired from Mount Vernon High School) and boys Chris and Michael.
"I'm really looking forward to visiting the boot (Italy)," he said. "That's at the top of my list."
He said his time at Yorktown has been memorable.
"From the beginning, I was always sports oriented," Nardo said. "I always wanted to be in sports. Sixteen years ago, I was looking for another challenge, and the Yorktown opportunity was presented to me. It's what I love doing, and I got all I wanted here as far as a challenge.
"At the end of the day, it's been a great run," he concluded.