July 18, 2022 By Mark Blaudschun
He will turn 50 before the end of the month, and it will be a milestone in familiar places for Jim Quatromoni.
In terms of distance, Quatromoni, who is beginning his 6th year as the athletic director at Hingham High, hasn't traveled very far at all.
Quatromoni is a South Shore kid. He was born in Hull, went to school at UMass-Boston, went to work running an athletic club in Quincy, and then returned to his alma mater, serving as the boy's basketball coach at Hull and later the athletic director.
Moving up in the athletic administration world of Massachusetts High School athletics hasn't moved his geographic needle that much.
Quatromoni still lives in Hull, although he says with a degree of pride his house is closer to Hingham High than it is to Hull High School.
But that is not what Quatromoni is all about. Never has been.
When asked to explain his move from the business world--often based on increasing income--to the often significantly less lucrative environment of athletic administration explained his philosophy.
"I didn't' feel I was making a difference,'' he said, when asked his reason for taking on the duties of athletic director and boys' basketball coach at Hull High School. "I wanted something bigger than me. I wanted something bigger than bringing home money.''
There's irony in that statement, considering his ambitions when he left Hull the first time after graduating high school.
"I wanted to play college basketball,'' he said, sitting in his office one quiet afternoon last week. "To do that, I had to go to college.''
He did that and came out with a degree and suddenly a new career, running athletic clubs.
For a while, he did both. He was running the athletic clubs during the day and coaching the basketball team at Hull.
It was the best of both worlds for Quatromoni, who now runs a department with 70 total teams, 39 at the varsity level and more than 100 coaches and athletic personnel.
"It's something I love,'' he said. "Prior to COVID, I had a smile on my face every day. COVID has made things far more difficult for everybody."
Moving from Hull to Hingham was also a challenge, elevating his profile to a higher level, with more responsibility as an administrator and no coaching, which required some soul searching.
''There's not a lot of downtime during the school year,'' said Quatromoni, who was honored as Massachusetts AD of the Year in 2021 and whose work day begins reasonably enough between 9:00 and 9:30 most days but with no defined ending. "There's a blurred home life balance.''
Quatromoni concedes in explaining that many work "days'' stretch to 9 or 10 at night.
"Hingham is a prestigious job. The quality and support are almost second to none, which shows up in the quality of the teams."
Quatromoni said he had doubts about giving up coaching, which was a passion he has had his entire life.
"I was wondering if I could survive that,'' he said. "But coming to Hingham was special. They've had ADs since 1950. Margaret Conatay (who Quatromoni replaced) was a long-time friend. The more I looked into it, the more I felt I had to pursue it.''
Quatromoni absorbed coaching from working with his coaches and their players in all the sports.
"I don't have much time to think about emotions,'' he said, "like missing something. I enjoy it through them.''
He keeps his direct hand in coaching basketball by helping run a summer clinic/camp in Quincy.
During the school year, he is consumed by the simple process of getting things done at every level, which is his ultimate responsibility.
"This year, for whatever reason,'' he said, "there was a shortage of available school bus drivers and game officials. I don't know why, but they weren't there. With bus drivers, usually our work is done well in advance. There was this one instance I didn't have a varsity bus six hours before the game. I was sitting here cold calling charter bus companies. I went through 13 before I finally found one. That was challenging.''
Much of Quatromoni's work day is spent listening and observing. "You need to take what is in front of you and make it the best possible experience for our kids. That's imperative."
As a former coach and player, Quatromoni still has an athlete and coach's mindset. "I just go around and absorb things. I like to be a fly on the wall and just watch the coaches and how they intermingle with the players. I love doing that.''
Quatromoni emphasized that his role was to listen to all of the voices, taking into consideration what the students want, what bothers them and what he can do to make their experiences as good as they can be.
That is why he is proud of the innovations such as Captains' Classes, which involve teaching captains of each sport how to be better leaders.
Hingham has also done additional work with programs involving the special olympics and students with special needs, which has earned Hingham national awards.
"Probably one of the best achievements of my career I'm most proud of,'' said Quatromoni.
What is clear is that each day is new, and each season provides new challenges, which Quatromoni and his staff are ready to handle.