The 2009 Ramona High School football season marked the 35th and final year of coaching for Bill “Tambo” Tamburrino.
In a special tribute during the year-end banquet held in the San Diego Hall of Champions in Balboa Park, Tamburrino was given a special plaque. Damon Baldwin, RHS varsity football head coach and athletic director, presented the plaque on behalf of the varsity coaches, players and parents.
Tamburrino moved to Ramona with his wife Margaret in 1975. During those 35 years, he has coached not only football, but also girls softball, baseball, girls basketball, track and soccer.
When asked about his favorite sport, he replied, “I don’t have a favorite sport. I like coaching what I am coaching at the time.”
Many changes in RHS sports have occurred during his tenure. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Ramona was in the powerhouse Avocado League, playing much bigger schools every season, and their record showed it. Now, Ramona teams compete at a high level and the gym is filling up with league championship banners in nearly every sport.
“Although we are much more successful now in football, my favorite team to this date was the 1987 varsity football team,” said Tamburrino. “We were 0-10 that year, but those kids never quit and all became productive citizens.”
According to Tamburrino, the biggest change is girls sports.
“When I started coaching at Bishop Montgomery High School, there were no girls sports,” he said. “They had play days once a year. The only girls involved in sports were the spirit squads. The addition of girl’s sports as we see them today is the most positive addition to high school sports since I have been an educator.”
One thing that has not changed for Tamburrino is the pride he gets from seeing his former students and athletes succeed.
“Over 100 former players and students of mine have gone on to work for RUSD (Ramona Unified School District),” he said. “Any time I learn that they have become a contributing member of society, I am extremely proud.”
At the conclusion of his acceptance speech, Tamburrino summed up his 35 years at Ramona High with, “Myron Bill hired me to teach and coach in 1975 and I haven’t worked a day since. I lived from game to game and had a blast.”