A Greenwich High graduate, Mora spent 13 seasons as coach of the Cardinals, before stepping down after the 2013 season. During his tenure he guided the Cardinals to the 2004 FCIAC Tournament title and to the conference finals in 2012. Selected as the FCIAC coach of the year three times, Mora played baseball at the University of Vermont and the minor leagues.
He returned to the GHS dugout last season as one of Tarantino’s assistant coaches.
“It is kind of bittersweet, because Phil is not going to be with us anymore,” Mora said. “He was with me from 2006 to 2013 as both a junior varsity and varsity coach. Phil is a huge reason for the success of the program over the years. With that said, I am also excited to be back. Hopefully Phil will come back one day and once again, be a part of the program.”
Tarantino, who like Mora, played baseball at Greenwich High, guided the team the past three seasons. His 2015 Cardinals squad advanced all the way to the CIAC Class LL quarterfinals and last spring, the team qualified for the state tournament as well.
“The experience of being the head coach at Greenwich was super rewarding,” Tarantino said. “Getting to coach where you played was so rewarding and very special. I felt so fortunate to have coached at Greenwich, which is always one of the better teams in the FCIAC.”
Tarantino said he stepped down as coach to spend more time with his family.
“My families’ dynamic has changed the last few months and I just don’t have the time anymore,” said Tarantino, who is a teacher at Western Middle School in Greenwich. “With three kids and two working parents, it’s hard to find the time.”
The Cardinals’ former coach cherished the past three seasons in the dugout.
“Each team the last three seasons was different to me as a coach and they all provided me with special moments,” Tarantino said. “Playing at Harbor Yard in the FCIAC Tournament, beating Southington, the No. 1 team in the state, all those bus rides, those are just some of the many things I’ll remember. I was fortunate to coach great groups of players.”
“Mike has been a lifelong friend of mine and he helped me get involved with high school coaching,” Tarantino said. “Nobody knows more about baseball than him.”
Mora is looking forward to beginning his second coaching stint.
“We have great kids in the program, which makes the transition easier,” Mora said. “Our expectations are high and it’s not just about wins – it’s about how our players carry themselves and doing things the right way on and off the field.
The main thing is to keep the game fun for the kids and putting them in positions to succeed. I feel very fortunate to have another opportunity to lead the program.”