SARATOGA SPRINGS — Ty Stacey is enjoying his first year as head coach for the Spa Catholic girls’ basketball teams. It’s a drastic difference from his day job as a probation officer. Stacey is taking over for Damian Fantauzzi, who coached the team last year. Stacey said Fantauzzi left to spend more time with his grandchildren and he coaches cross-country and track in the spring. Stacey’s coaching experience varies: he was head coach at SUNY Adirondack for the men’s team for years.
“I’ve been coaching my son in various AAU teams and baseball and basketball ever since. The girls that I have this year are extremely committed to learning and developing their skills as basketball players but also their athleticism. I have some girls that play five sports throughout the year. So, they aren’t only benefitting as a basketball player but they’re benefiting as a complete athlete,” Stacey explained.
Stacey played basketball as a student at Saratoga Springs High school; he also played at SUNY Adirondack and St. Joseph’s in Rutland, Vermont. Stacey is a probation officer for Saratoga County and finds a correlation between his coaching and day job.
“The way I look at it is, we’re all the same. It’s just the same lessons in a different arena. We all make mistakes, it’s our responsibility to learn from them and change our future and develop new skills and be responsible,” Stacey said.
Stacey gets help on the court from Alphonse Lambert, the schools’ athletic director and bowling and baseball coach, and Fantauzzi, who still stops by and takes notes. John Catone, the boys’ basketball coach, also stops by practice from time to time and vice versa for Stacey.
“We’ll watch each other’s practices a little bit and get different ideas, different approaches, but it’s not like we’re in direct collaboration. I will work with coach Lambert and Damian Fantauzzi, who has already come and watched one of the games. They’ll send me emails with their observations and their thoughts, which is tremendously helpful because one person can’t be everything,” Stacey explained.
The team consists of 11 players, only one of which is a senior.
“We’re very young, we are striving to get better as the season goes. We’ve already shown improvement from last year to this year. Since we’ve lost our top scorer from last year, we’re trying to figure out where our scoring is going to come from. That’s going to be the goal here, to see who’s going to provide it, and that could change each night. The future is promising. This year I think we’re going to surprise some people and I can guarantee that the girls are going to compete every night. They are a good group of kids,” he said, complimenting his team.
Before every game, Stacey likes to inspire them in a simple way: by reminding them to put in the work.
“I just remind them that they need to do their job and everybody else knows what job they’ve got to do, and it’ll all come together. The girls are pretty self-motivating, makes my job easy that way and it just reinforces the learning process every game. Learn as you go, learn as you play, and that’s how you benefit,” Stacey said.
To catch a Saratoga Central Catholic basketball game, check out the Sports at a Glance page.