Longtime Cooperstown Central School coach and athletic director Dave Bertram announced Monday, June 22, that he will leave his job with the district to become the athletic director at Mohonasen Central School.
Bertram spent the last two years at Cooperstown as the district’s athletic director, previously coaching the boys basketball team for 16 years. He also coached the school’s tennis team for 17 years.
“I got out of coaching at Cooperstown and started to be an athletic director there and pursuing that avenue,” Bertram told The Daily Star on Monday. “I started craving that larger, bigger role and Mohonasen opened up, so I started researching them. They are pretty much a larger Cooperstown, they do a lot of great community things and have great facilities.”
Bertram’s time as athletic director covered a pair of successful years for Hawkeyes teams, including the first state title for the boys basketball team in 2019. His varsity basketball record at CCS was 256-87, including seven Center State Conference division titles, five Section III titles and two trips to the state final four.
His first varsity team at Cooperstown, in 2002-2003, went 26-1 and lost in the Class C state championship game to Buffalo City Honors. His team also made the Class C final four in 2012.
In tennis, Bertram had a record of 240-15 in dual matches, and Cooperstown won 15 league tournaments, 14 league titles and eight team Section III championships, as well as many other singles or doubles section titles. Twice he had doubles teams make the state tournament — Reid Snyder and Finn Dusenbery in 2004 and Pierce Snyder and Tyler Bertram in 2016.
“It was very difficult. Time and your course of action always dictate what you do, and the biggest thing I told my staff and coaching staff is that it was bittersweet,” Bertram said. “I cherish the 21 years of service at Cooperstown. The memories will never be erased. And Mohonasen is orange and black, so that will still run through my veins.”
Bertram said he does not expect to return to coaching at the new position, but that it is “not out of the question.”
His departure from the boys basketball bench came after the Cooperstown Board of Education felt that the position should not be held by someone who is also the athletic director. Bertram said that in addition to being a new challenge, his two children advancing through school was a factor in his decision.
Bertram’s son, Tyler, transferred to Binghamton earlier this year after playing his redshirt freshman season of men’s basketball at University of North Carolina Charlotte. Bertram’s daughter, Josephine, will be a senior at Cooperstown. Bertram said the family has no plans to move at this time.
Bertram also said he left his staff with a quote from author Shauna Niequist: “When life is sweet, say ‘thank you’ and celebrate. When life is bitter, say ‘thank you’ and grow.”
Mohonasen is a Class A school in Rotterdam. It competes in Section II.
Jared Bomba, staff writer, can be reached at email@example.com or 607-441-7229.