Long-time baseball coach is out at Babylon High

A goodwill gesture has turned a baseball coach’s life upside down. Anthony Sparacio, a health education teacher at Babylon High School, who also served as coach for over 20 years, saw his coaching career at Babylon end Feb. 29 after the board of education took action after he violated fundraising policies.

Sparacio set up an online donation page to help raise funds for field equipment, unaware that it was against procedure. “I did something that was not right. For that I deserve consequences,” Sparacio said.

Linda Rozzi, Babylon Superintendent, said, “The district is prohibited by law from sharing the reasons that led to the decision not to appoint the candidate in question as a baseball coach for the season, as this is a matter of personnel.”

Sparacio was placed on immediate leave after word had spread that a “Go Fund Me” account had been set up. Proceeds from the account were intended to purchase equipment for the new baseball facility.

“He’s a great person, coach, teacher,” said Kenneth Gordon, a current Babylon High School baseball player.

Members of the current team embraced the former coach following the proceedings. “I will be there for you no matter what … no one can take that away from me. I love you guys. Period,” Sparacio said.

Community members have taken to social media to voice their opinions and offer kind words about their time with Sparacio.

James Petz, a former Babylon High School student, said, “This is a mistake. Mr. Sparacio was one of the good guys. In this day and age we need more men like him!”

Toby Walker, a fellow coach, said, “I am very surprised and disappointed. This is not in true Panther spirit.”

As a result, it has left many questioning why such drastic measures were taken and whether anything else can be done. Sparacio retains his position as a health teacher, but his coaching future remains uncertain. The team’s season begins on March 29; therefore any appeal process would need to take place quickly.