Christine Gamari steps away from volleyball but will remain a force in Raider athletics.
TORRINGTON: The bad news for the Torrington girls’ volleyball team; Christine Gamari will no longer be your coach.
The great news for the school itself; Christine Gamari will remain a force at the school, promoting all things that make being a Raider something memorable and to be celebrated.
After seven seasons at the helm of the Raiders, a time in which she compiled a 123-39 record (162 matches, a .764 winning percentage) and led her team to the Class M State finals two years ago and a Naugatuck Valley League title in that same year, Gamari has decided to pursue a different yet important course.
This after being one of, if not the, most decorated female athletes in Raider history in three different sports.
For Gamari, the reason for stepping away into a different role came down to life’s one timers, those things in life that come about just once and if you miss them, well you don’t get a second chance.
“I decided to take some time away from coaching because, with a young family, it was getting more difficult to put the necessary amount of time into it.” Gamari said. “My daughter will be heading to Kindergarten in the fall, and my son to pre-school, and I wanted to be home more to help both of them transition to these new phases in their lives.”
As most dedicated coaches know, being great at the job demands an extraordinary amount of time, sometimes too much.
“The volleyball season is a 6 day-a-week commitment from the end of August until Thanksgiving (depending on state tournament performance).” Gamari said. “It's a little more than just time allotted to practices and matches. There is time spent planning practices, collecting and tabulating statistics, contacting parents/press, scouting, attending coaches’ meetings, and other organizational matters that just take a lot of time.”
Ever the ultimate performer who had sky high expectations for herself, Gamari felt she was running out of hours in her day to do all the things she wanted to, they way she wanted to.
“As someone who always wants to give 100+ percent to anything I take on,” Gamari said. “I realized that I was falling short with respect to my family and I needed to reset my priorities. As many people have kindly reminded me when I made this difficult decision, "you don't ever get this time back with your children." It also wouldn't be fair to my players if I wasn't fully focused or giving my all to them either. They deserve someone who can do that.”
While she may be stepping away from the day to day operations with the volleyball program, that good news I spoke of comes from her ambitions to help all the programs at THS.
“I still want to be actively involved in Torrington High School Athletics,” Gamari explained. “I'm talking with our AD, Coach Mike McKenna, on how I still can be. I'm really interested in helping Coach Mike and Coach Gaitan Rodriguez develop a THS Athletics program-wide character education program for our athletes. I'm also interested in uniting all sports teams and their athletes, in some way, to do some community outreach and continue to spread Raider Pride.”
Gamari was recently named Vice President of the Torrington Varsity Alumni Club, another sign of her deepening commitment to keeping traditions that she grew up with going strong into the future.
Don’t think you won’t see her in the Connie Donahue Gymnasium though, it will simply be in a different role.
“I will still be a fan, of course,” Gamari said. “Cheering on the team from the stands.”
Team Achievements: 2017 Iron Division Champs, 2017 NVL Runner-ups, 2016 Iron Division Champs, 2016 NVL Champs, 2016 Class M State Runner-ups, 2015 Iron Division Co-champs, 2013 Copper Division Champs
Coaching Achievements: Selected to coach a team in the 2016 Senior All-Star Game
Player Recognitions: Many players selected to play in the annual Senior All-Star Game (Lauren Gaghan, Caitlyn Cornish, Jolie Fox, Sam Zordan, etc.). Many players selected All-League or All-Iron team. Carissa Carbone named All-State (2016), Candyce Jewett named Second Team All-State (2017)