Ron Patnosh use to joke that he came with building at St. Raymond. Now a piece of it belongs to him.
The all-boys Catholic school officially dedicated its gym its legendary teacher, athletic director and baseball coach during a ceremony on June 20. A scholarship fund was also established in his named.
Patnosh died of an apparent heart attack. last September at the age of 76 after serving as the school’s baseball coach for 48 years. St Raymond and its alumni wanted to do something that ensured all that he did would be remembered for years and years to come.
“He did a tremendous amount of stuff on the baseball field, but it was definitely so much more, as a teacher, colleague, and an administrator and as an athletic director,” Ravens athletic director Ben Aguirre said. “Just having something permanent in his name was only right.”
More than 150 of his former, colleagues, players, opposing coaches and his family gathered a the school to see the dedication of the Ron Patnosh Gymnasium. Those who knew him best said while he would have been appreciative of the honor, Patnosh never liked having too much importance placed on him.
“He was extremely humble, low key and didn’t want any attention,” St. Raymond baseball coach Marc DeLuca said. “If he was around he’d probably be really ticked off about this thing, but he deserved it.”
Patnosh was one of the CHSAA’s most successful and longest tenured baseball coaches. He started the Raven’s baseball team in 1964 and won 1,080 games, second only to Archbishop Molloy’s Jack Curran in the CHSAA. St. Raymond claimed city championships in 1980 and 1989 and nine division titles in his tenure. Patnosh, a history teacher, served as assistant principal for 15 years. He retired in 2010.
“He dedicated his entire life to the children here,” said Mary Ellen Storniola, Patnosh’s sister “He loved teaching. He loved coaching. He loved mentoring. He got as much from the children has he gave them.”
At his funeral countless former students and players came up to her to thank her for what Patnosh did for them. Many mothers told her how their sons might have ended up in gang, jail or much less successful had it not been for him. Storniola remember her brother always coming to his kids’ aid.
“He would immediately get up and he would leave to go to the Bronx because he got a call that there was a young man in the bar who should be or someone was in trouble,” she said. “He didn’t think two minutes about it. He just took care of it.”
His former player remember a man who got them excited to play the game and demanded they play it a certain way. Ravens junior varsity coach Cliff Gonzalez, a 1985 graduate, played for Patnosh for four seasons before starting a minor league career, He finds himself channeling his former coach’s passion when it is needed most.
“Every year I have my Patnosh moment,” he said. “When the team is down or losing, I’ll kick a helmet or throw a bat.”
The school wanted to make sure none of what Patnosh stood or was forgotten by future generations of students, teachers and coaches at the school. Name they gym in his honor will serve as a permanent reminder to all.
“He just thought we was a regular coach, loved baseball, loved teaching,” DeLuca said. “Something like this will preserve this and keep his name around for the people who he didn’t coach.”