Lou Panzanaro, who is retiring as Peekskill athletic director, will return to the district next school year as an educational evaluator, for which he will be paid upwards of $80,000.
“I felt that it was probably time and didn’t feel I had the same strength and energy to devote to the job as athletic director, which is a 14-hour job,” Panzanaro said. “It is the type of job that really has no beginning and end because you never know when a parent is going to come in. I have been in education for 49 years and had been talking to my wife about retirement and then I was offered a retirement incentive, so we agreed it was a good time. They are allowing me to come back and finish up some of the projects we have been working on, which was important.”
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Those projects focus on preserving the school’s proud and impressive athletic tradition.
“I’m looking at, right now, at about six boxes of trophies and plaques and when I talked to the superintendent about retiring, I said, ‘I’ve got these blue bins that are still here and I have got to get Legacy Hall finished,'” Panzanaro said during a phone call from his office last month. “The history of our athletes over the years—like Elton [Brand] and Hilton [Armstrong] and Derek Dennis and others—should have some kind of recognition in our school greater than it is right now. That is very important to me. Also, we are going to redo the gym this year and that includes once again putting up banners for all of our league, sectional and state championship teams and we have retired numbers that need to go up.”
Panzanaro said Legacy Hall is located in a hallway between the gym parking lot and the front entrance of the school hallway that goes down to the nurse’s office. When finished, that hallway will feature trophy cases containing all of the school’s sectional and state championship trophies and plaques as well as photos of the teams.
“I also want to put the Hall of Fame around the corner to make it more prominent,” Panzanaro said. “There are still so many things that need to be done.”
Panzanaro added that he will also remain involved in homecoming, the 5k, and, as referenced above, the Peekskill High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Prior to becoming athletic director, Panzanaro was a legendary high school basketball coach, leading Peekskill to an amazing five state titles on the way to becoming Section One’s all-time leader in wins. In fact, from 2010 through 2014, he served as both AD and head coach of the boys basketball team.