Congratulations to Raider Athletic Director and Varsity Baseball Head Coach Mike Santoro for receiving the Georgia Athletic Directors' Association (GADA) 2017 Class AAAAA Athletic Director of the Year award. He was chosen from the eight Class AAAAA Region AD's of the year. The GADA presented Santoro with the award at their annual conference in Savannah at the end of March. Santoro commented "I'm honored to receive this recognition from my peers. The team accomplishments and the hours that our coaches and athletes put into our programs are really where the recognition belongs. This is really an award for our athletic programs at Riverwood."
Santoro was voted the Region 6-AAAAA 2017 AD of the year by his peers. The Region 6-AAAAA schools are Banneker, Carver (Atlanta), Decatur, Grady, Jackson (Atlanta), Lithia Springs, North Springs, and Riverwood. At this time, he serves as the region secretary and oversees the region tournaments and day-to-day operations of the region. Said Dr. Robert Shaw, principal, "I am very excited that Coach Santoro was named the 5-A Athletic Director of the Year. What makes this really special is that other Athletic Directors around the State recognized what all of us already know about Coach Santoro: he works hard, is focused on serving others, and he cares deeply about Riverwood."
Santoro became the Raiders full-time Athletic Director in 2012. As the school's AD, he serves as the liaison from the Fulton County Schools Director of Athletics and the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) to the Raider athletic department. Raider athletics involves many of the school's approximately 1,500 students and offers more than 35 teams at varsity, junior varsity, or freshman levels.
Prior to stepping into the AD role, Santoro was a member of the Social Studies faculty and Raider coaching staff. He taught Advanced Placement US History and also led the Raider Baseball program for 15 years (1999-2013). After a three year hiatus, Santoro returned to the Head Baseball Coaching position for the 2016-17 season.
As the Varsity Baseball coach, Santoro reached another milestone recently when the Raiders defeated North Springs on Friday, March 17, 2017; it was his 300th High School Baseball coaching victory. The team recognized this accomplishment by tapping him to throw out the first pitch at their next home game (photo below). It was a blistering fastball strike, of course.
Before he came to Riverwood, Santoro served as Head Baseball Coach at Banneker High School in College Park. A native of New York, he moved to Atlanta in 1996 after graduating from St. John Fisher College where he played baseball. Santoro, his wife Stephanie, and their daughter Sophia Jane, share their home with their two dogs, Mattingly and Huck.