Monroe Campus honors longtime coach in field renaming

Coach Michael Turo (c) raises the proclamation declaring the baseball field as the ‘Mike Turo Field.’
Community News Group/Sarah Valenzuela

On Saturday, June 11, the James Monroe Campus Schools community celebrated their longtime baseball coach and physical education teacher by renaming the field after him.

Going forward, the baseball field on the Monroe Campus will be known as the ‘Mike Turo Field,’ and friends, family and alumni showed up in full force for their one and only coach, Coach Turo.

“This is such a great honor, but my job is to help get the students to college and to continue their education,” said Turo before the ceremony.

“Sure, everyone likes to win, but my job is done when I see them get to that next level of education,” continued Turo.

Over the last 41 years, many people have considered Mike Turo to be the best high school baseball coach in New York City.

His record, specifically the six city and 35 borough championships and over 1,325 games won, are a testament to those statements.

But it has been Turo’s unmatched dedication and commitment to the students that shaped his legacy.

“There’s never a dull moment with coach,” said current student and player, Juan Pinero.

“He teaches us to respect ourselves and those around us,” added another current student and player, Bryant Bassett.

Mike Turo does not just talk the walk, he walks the walk, and all of his teachings and life lessons are led by examples, not just lectures.

Even the school administrators and his volunteer assistant coaches can attest to his scheduling of early morning practices, which his players are all expected to attend.

“You don’t find people like Mike Turo everyday,” said Dr. Ramon Namnum, principal of the High School of World Cultures within the Monroe Campus.

“His efforts are more than commendable and he’s more than deserving of this,” continued Namnum, who helped reach out to Assemblyman Marcos Crespo about getting the field renamed.

Those efforts include the attention he pays to maintaining the field, making sure those who use it keep it clean, even driving to the campus just to make sure tarps are placed on the baseball diamond when it rains.

He even commutes three hours daily to get to and from the school from his home on Long Island, sacrificing family time to stay at the school just to help out.

“Mike is who he is today because he loves what he does and he’s really good at it,” said Teresalyn Turo, Mike’s wife.

“Everyone in the Bronx knows him and the team has become part of our family too,” added Danielle and Michael Turo Jr, Teresalyn and Mike’s two children.

Among those that came to show their support were one of Coach Turo’s former students and players, Francisco Justo, who was recently drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals, and Dr. Cesar Presbott, an area scout for the New York Yankees.

The new field signage with Turo’s name will have to wait a bit as the school raises money for a new digital score board and the new sign.

Reach Reporter Sarah Valenzuela at (718) 260-4584. E-mail her at svalenzuela@cnglocal.com.

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