Current and former Rye High School basketball players, along with dozens of Saturday and Sunday Rye Recreation players, gathered to celebrate Coach Doug Tuttle and his longtime support of the men’s basketball tradition. Families and current high school coaches dedicated a bench to Coach Tuttle in appreciation of his commitment to player development.
Master of Ceremonies Bart DiNardo, Assistant Varsity Basketball Coach, shared the backstory on the dedication. Last year, former varsity players Mark Croughan, Michael Carty, and Brett Egan presented the idea of a bench dedicated to their coach to the Rye Recreation Commission, which was unanimously adopted.
After a fundraising effort last spring, the hardest part was setting a date for the ceremony. Looping Doug’s wife, Abby Tuttle, into the process, helped move the plan forward and the Friday after Thanksgiving was set. Doug’s sons, John and Dave, and Rye High School alumni who were home from college or visiting family for the holiday were quietly notified of the date and time.
Michael Carty and Mark Croughan, via text message as he was on his way back to Washington and Lee for college basketball practice, delivered heartfelt and admiring remarks about their coach.
John Aguilar, Varsity Basketball Coach, expressed his deep appreciation for Coach Tuttle’s experience, guidance, and friendship.
Kevin O’Neil, father of three former Rye High players and longtime Rye Rec player himself, praised Doug’s “tutelage of the next generation year after year, one weekend at a time.”
John Tuttle talked about his dad’s love of the game, and expressed his family’s thanks to all the current players, coaches, alumni, and family friends in the room.
When Doug was asked to say a few words and while some folks in the room wiped away tears, he said, “I’m a very lucky man.”
Actually Coach, generations of high school basketball players think they are the lucky ones as the beneficiaries of your stories, tips, and prodding to be their best selves on and off the court.
Photos by Melanie Cane
John Tuttle, at left, sharing a story about his dad, at right.
Doug Tuttle, surrounded by former and current Rye High School and Rye Rec basketball players who “benched” him for life, at a dedication ceremony at Rye Recreation on November 24.