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Bartoszek begins work at SHS, eager to shape Warriors' football future

In short, Chad Bartoszek thought the timing was right.

After six years of working to establish a consistent football winner while working at Ellicottville High School, the last five of them leading the merged Franklinville/Ellicottville Titans, Bartoszek accepted a chance to return home. Officially resigning his duties at Ellicottville at the end of May, he began a new job at Salamanca High School this month as a physical education teacher, assistant athletic director and varsity football coach.

In a sense, the Salamanca native was already home. Bartoszek and his family lived in the district while he worked at neighboring Ellicottville.

“There was just some communication going on between Salamanca and myself and I live in district and I have a lot of family members and friends who still live in district and their kids still go to Salamanca,” Bartoszek told The Salamanca Press of his decision to accept Salamanca’s offer. “There was still a little bit of that communication amongst the people that I’m around. As much of a difficult transition these types of moves can be, there was still an urge to come back and coach the football team here. I never thought that that would become a reality. But the way things went down, it ended up working out.”

In turn, former Salamanca coach Jason Marsh, an assistant for the last two years at F/E, has been hired as the Titans’ next head coach.

Bartoszek called the decision to leave Ellicottville, where his football teams went a combined 41-16 including a Section 6 Class D championship in 2015, “professionally the hardest thing I’ve ever done, for sure.”

“I created some pretty strong bonds and I know as adults and coworkers, they understand,” he said. “When you work in public education there’s usually not a ton of movement especially schools so close. But the kids, that’s just something that was difficult for me to explain. There’s not always a great explanation for everything, but I was hopeful that my years there created some form of positive impact on their lives and I do root for them and wish them the best. Especially when we brought those teams together (in 2014), that was really a source of pride for myself and the rest of the coaches there.”

After playing for longtime Salamanca coach George Whitcher in the late 1990s, Bartoszek went on to a Division I career at tight end for the University at Buffalo and played in training camp with the Indianapolis Colts. As his life turned to coaching and teaching in the Southern Tier, Bartoszek acknowledged the allure of Salamanca football remained, but said his focus was always on the students he works with.

“You get into this profession, you’re really there to work and empower and make the student-athletes better,” he said. “Honestly, whenever I’m at a school, I feel the necessity, the need to try to improve those around me, to try to make football players into good, quality student-athletes. Even when I was with Portville (as an assistant coach) and with Franklinville/Ellicottville, that was 100 percent of my commitment.”