Taconic hires Jim Ziter as head football coach


Jim Ziter is moving across town.

The former Pittsfield High School football player and assistant is the new head coach at Taconic High School. Ziter said he was hired on Tuesday.

"It'll be different, but it'll be fun," Ziter said. "My kids go to Taconic. I live in the Taconic area. I've always wanted to be a head coach in high school. Coaching in the youth, I coached a lot of the kids that ended up going to Taconic."

Ziter, 42, graduated from Pittsfield and later coached in the local youth leagues for about eight years, including last season. The EMT and firefighter is a former assistant at the high school level with St. Joseph and Pittsfield. He last helped out the Generals in 2011.

Former St. Joe coach Gary Bianchi knows Ziter dating all the way back to when Ziter started out at the Peewee level. Ziter helped coach quarterbacks and offensive backs during his time with the Crusaders. Bianchi said the coach should boost the Braves.

"Jimmy's a very hard-working, dedicated coach," Bianchi said. "He's done a good job working his way up the coaching ladder. ... I think he'll be a stabilizing factor for the program. He's a guy who will look to be in the program for a long time. It's something he's always wanted to do."

This is the second time Ziter has applied for the Taconic job. He was a candidate in 2011 when Vinny Barbarotta was named coach. Barbarotta was not retained following a school investigation that the former coach said determined his staff had set a bad example by consuming alcohol on a trip to a University of Connecticut football game with several students.

The Braves were 4-14 in two seasons under Barbarotta. Ziter said he sees the potential to up that win total.

"There's football players in that school," Ziter said. "I think there's high hopes for that team. There's a lot of good kids coming up. ... I think, just get the kids in school excited about playing football, getting them interested in the process."


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