Boys Basketball Coach Volunteers for 25th Consecutive Year
Tom Neugebauer is a household name in the Boys Basketball program. More specifically, this year was the 25th consecutive year that Coach Neugebauer has been a volunteer assistant in the Boys Basketball program. Yes, he has committed 25 years to the program, all unpaid!
Starting in the winter season of 1996-97, JV Coach John Tobin and Assistant Coach Mike DiPietro convinced Neugebauer to help coach JV basketball. Neugebauer is a CHS alumni (class of ‘91) and was also a player in the basketball program under Craig Reopell. At that time, Neugebauer was working towards his degree at SUNY Cortland. And so it began...Coach Neugebauer assisted Coach Tobin for five years, and then starting in 2001-02 began a long assistantship with JV Coach Yale Hughes. In 2012-13, Coach Neugebauer began as varsity assistant coach, assisting Jeremy Milligan, who was hired to replace long-time varsity coach Mick Lowie. From the winter of 2012, Tom has been the varsity assistant coach
The JV and varsity season is roughly 13 weeks in length and on average, has 20 regular season games (along with sectionals for varsity teams). The team typically averages about 55 total practices per season. Based on these numbers, Neugebauer has volunteered roughly 1,875 days of his life (a bit over 5-years) to the program.
During his non-basketball hours, Neugebauer works full time for the post office as a rural mail carrier. He also has been heavily involved with the local Relay for Life and is a member of CHS Distinguished Wall of Fame Committee.
In discussing Coach Neugebauer’s role with head coach Jeremy Milligan, Milligan had the following to say. “Coach Neugebauer first got involved in coaching when I was a senior at CHS. To still have him involved all these years later is amazing. Since taking over as assistant varsity coach, Coach Neugebauer not only attends all practices and games (and has had to be the head coach in one instance), he assists with all scouting of opponents, he is active in helping to run our summer league, and he is a staple at every open gym session throughout the Fall. He essentially volunteers year-round. His level of involvement, care for our players, and mentorship to the young men in our program is remarkable. I would be shocked to find a single player in the program's history that has a single negative thing to say about Coach Neugebauer. Tom is the Cal Ripken of the basketball program...Thanks Coach for all of your time, energy, and dedication. The more than 350 Purple Tiger athletes over the past 25 years have benefited from your coaching and mentoring.”
Former JV boys basketball coach Yale Hughes had the following to say about Tom. “I feel extremely fortunate to have had Tom as my loyal assistant coach for so many years for the JV teams that I coached. Not only did I benefit from his knowledge, the players and the program reaped the benefits as well. During individual offense fundamental time in practices, Tom would work with the “bigs" and I worked with the guards. This proved to be invaluable to the players as they prepared for the next level. I'm so glad that I had a good friend to work with, which made my time with the team much more enjoyable. We (Cortland) are so lucky to have him!”
Former boys basketball coach Mick Lowie had the following to say about Tom. “It’s hard to believe that Tom Neugebauer has been coaching at Cortland High School for 25 years, 16 of them while I was the Varsity Coach. I can hardly remember a season when Tom was not coaching at Cortland. How lucky we are to have Tom as a basketball coach at Cortland, volunteering his time for the student athletes. Maybe because Tom was once a student athlete at Cortland himself, whatever the reason, Tom has become an outstanding coach with all of the right qualities. Tom is selfless with his time, loyal, hardworking, knowledgeable, and a great role model for the players. As a JV assistant coach, he was definitely the best statistician for varsity games ever. I am not sure what we would have done without him. And let’s not forget, it wasn’t just during the regular season. Tom also coached many of the summer league teams where he was able to build a rapport with players at various levels. Making a personal commitment to the student athletes at Cortland for 25 years and counting, is truly remarkable. We all owe Tom a huge debt of gratitude.”