By Gavin Menu
Eric Bramoff, a native of Sag Harbor and 1996 graduate of Pierson High School, was named as the Sag Harbor School District’s new director of athletics, physical education, health and wellness and as supervisor of building & grounds at a special meeting of the school board on Monday.
District Superintendent Katy Graves said adding the responsibility of maintaining the district’s buildings and grounds made it a full-time position with a salary of $117,000 per year.
Mr. Bramoff, 37, returned to the East End in 2014 after working for 10 years as a teacher in the Syracuse City School District. He and his wife, Brooke, have two children, Ethan, 8, and Dylan, 5, both of whom will attend school in Sag Harbor. Mr. Bramoff was hired last year as a physical education teacher and athletic director in the Bridgehampton School District, where he replaced Mary Anne Jules, who worked in district for 32 years.
The stability under Ms. Jules in Bridgehampton was the polar opposite of the situation in Sag Harbor ever since Nick DeCillis retired from the athletic director’s position in 2007. The office has had a revolving door with seven different people trying their hand at the position prior to the appointment of longtime history teacher and soccer coach Donnelly McGovern last year.
With a desire to spend more time with his family, Mr. McGovern resigned from the administrative post after one year, and the possibility of hiring Mr. Bramoff as the new AD became an instant topic of conversation among those close to Sag Harbor athletics.
“It was an extremely tough decision, Mr. Bramoff said on Tuesday about leaving Bridgehampton. “When you look at the whole thing, Bridgehampton had very little negatives. It’s a special, special place. But I believe with all my heart that this is the right thing for my family and for my career goals.”
Ms. Graves said that she and Bridgehampton Superintendent Dr. Lois Favre examined a shared model with the athletic director position, but that it was ultimately decided it would not work for Bridgehampton.
“The [Bridgehampton] district needs a combined physical education teacher and athletic director who can be in the building every day,” Ms. Graves said. “Both districts will continue to find ways to share services in the coming year.”
Ms. Graves said the district screened 35 candidates for the position in Sag Harbor, with six going through the full interview process. All were asked what more they could bring to the table in order to make the position full-time, and, according to Ms. Graves, it was Mr. Bramoff’s experience and enthusiasm for returning to his alma mater that made the difference.
“We have such a wonderful administrative team and this has been the piece we’ve been missing,” she said. “ This also meets Eric’s needs. There’s an emotional buy in for him and there’s no doubt, I think, he’ll have the loyalty for years to come.”
Mr. Bramoff will start work on Friday, August 14, and said on Tuesday that he is looking forward to working with coaches for the fall season and meeting all the different people in his departments, from health and physical education teachers to custodians and groundskeepers who look after the facilities.
“I have a lot of on-the-job learning to do,” Mr. Bramoff admitted. “There will be an adjustment period, but I don’t see it being a challenge I can’t meet. The two jobs really do fit nicely together because it’s all about Pierson pride and loving the school and loving the district. I know we have good people in place on not only the coaching side but the building and grounds.
“I can’t believe the amount of well wishers I’ve had, but now it’s time to get focused on the job at hand,” he continued. “It’s the first time I’ve every looked forward to summer ending.”