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Tortolon retires after 32 years at Dundee

DUNDEE—Dundee High School’s longtime teacher, coach and athletic director, George Tortolon, retired in June after 32 years. “I had been thinking about retiring for awhile, but when I heard that my good friends Ed Allen and Linda Gobeyn were retiring this year, I decided I’d go with them.” Tortolon has been at Dundee High School 32 years as an educator.
In those 32 years, Tortolon says he has coached many teams, usually football, baseball, basketball or softball. “I don’t know how many Dundee teams I have coached.” For the last 19 years, Tortolon has been the athletic director. “What I do know is that my tenure at athletic director was a lot easier because Ed [Allen] has coached 57 teams and Linda [Gobeyn] has coached 67 different teams.” Tortolon credited stability in the athletic department as a reason Dundee has had such great success over the years. “Stability helps with success,” stated Tortolon.
Tortolon was a three-sport athlete at Dundee, earning nine letters before his graduation in 1971. He and Allen were classmates and teammates throughout their school years at Dundee. They both went to Ithaca College and played on the same IC football team. “I was the captain of the first IC football team that went to the Stag Bowl. We lost the Division III national championship to Central Iowa, 10-6.” Tortolon commented that he also played lacrosse in the spring, “to keep in shape.” He was a starter in both sports all four years at IC.
After he graduated from IC, Tortolon worked for a year as a Probation Officer. “Ed [Allen] was already teaching at Dundee. In 1977, after a year in probation, I started teaching at Dundee as an eighth and ninth grade social studies teacher.” Tortolon has a master’s degree and certification from Brockport State and Elmira College. Despite his retirement, Tortolon will not be far from Dundee High School. His wife, Mindy, is still teaching at Dundee where younger son, Joe, is a junior who excels at football, basketball and baseball. Older son, Michael, attends West Virginia University and is in the marching band. “I still will be more than happy to come to games, even after Mike and Joe graduate. I enjoy watching the kids play sports at anytime. I always want to see kids do well.”
Tortolon plans to spend much of his free time in retirement on the golf course. “I find that the golf course gives me the level of competition I need at this stage of my life. I enjoy being with friends, even new ones I meet at the course. I always consider my opponent to be the course, not the other players,” and says he agrees with the adage, “‘A bad day at the golf course is still better than a good day most other places’ or something like that.”
As for the timing of his departure, Tortolon said he is very comfortable with his decision to retire. “I will miss some things, but expect to be involved. I think it is a good time for me to leave—I’m glad, sad, but not mad. I feel comfortable leaving and I expect to be remembered, but not for long!” says Tortolon with a hearty chuckle. “It just wouldn’t be the same without Ed and Linda. I expect to be busy, I will enjoy watching Joe play for the next two years at Dundee and maybe get down to see Mike at WVU, and I plan to enjoy life immensely.”
 


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