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Alumni: Ellicottville Tabs Bartoszek as Head Coach

It wasn’t very long ago that former Ellicottville Central School football coach Tim Bergan sat in his office and talked about the luxury it must be to have a kid like Chad Bartoszek on his roster.

But Bartoszek wasn’t on the Ellicottville roster.

Rather, the 6-foot-2, 230 pound two-way end was listed on the roster at nearby Salamanca, where former Warriors coach George Whitcher boasted about the two-time Big 30 All-Star’s amazing ability, for at least two years.

That praise didn’t fall on deaf ears.

During his senior year, Bartoszek signed a national letter-of-intent to attend the University at Buffalo where he would play football for then-Bulls coach Craig Cirbus and then Jim Hoefner.

And while his career at UB didn’t produce earth-shattering numbers — over his four seasons for the Bulls, he caught 94 passes for 880 yards and six touchdowns — Bartoszek was good enough to get a free agent invitation to try out for the Indianapolis Colts two years in a row ... and this back in 2003 and 2004 when future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning was just reaching the apex of his pro career.

Today, Bergan feels just a little bit better about having to watch Bartoszek during his playing career. He not only shined at Salamanca, where he helped the Warriors to a record of 24-6over his last three seasons, he was also recognized as a two-time All-Mid-American Conference tight end while at UB.

Recently retired after a storied coaching career of his own, Bergan will stick around Ellicottville, for at least one more year, after being named an assistant for the coming year.

And guess who his boss on the football field will be? You got it.

Tuesday night, at the Ellicottville Board of Education meeting, Bartoszek was approved as the school’s new varsity football coach. He will also teach physical education.

Over the past two years, Bartoszek has toiled as an assistant coach under Gary Swetland at Portville.

“We would have loved to keep Chad Bartoszek around and find a place for him at Portville,” Swetland said. “He's an outstanding young man with some very good credentials.

“And he knows football. I'm sure, he will be successful at Ellicottville. I think he's a great hire for them.”

But Swetland isn’t the only coach from the area who has had a hand in preparing Bartoszek for his own coaching career.

“I was on Gary Swetland’s staff at Portville the last two years,” Bartoszek said. “Prior to that, I was an assistant under Jason Marsh at Salamanca and before him, Rich Morton at Salamanca.

“But, obviously, George had a big impact on my playing career and I think I first started thinking that coaching might be something I could enjoy later in life.”

“I think all of the coaches I've worked and played for had something to bring to the table,” Bartoszek added. “I think one of the things I’ve already learned is that a coach wears many hats. It’s time I started to see what hat best fit me."

“I also know this. Every coach who has mentored me has taught me one constant. You do this for the kids. They are always uppermost in your mind. Football is a great game that can teach a lot of life lessons. Now, we'll find out if I can do that.”

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