George Petrides Stepping Down as City College AD, to be Replaced by Rolynda Contee

For the first time in 46 years, Baltimore City College will have someone other than George Petrides leading its athletic program.

Petrides, who is also an alum of City, has decided to retire after a storied career in high school athletics that few can match. He's coached a plethora of sports for the Knights, most famously football and girls basketball, but also badminton, boys basketball and wrestling.

"Most of my life has been spent there. It's meant everything to me," Petrides said. "The influence of my coaches and teachers honestly caused me to be in the profession I am now. I wanted to coach, be like my coaches, and work with young people. It's been extremely rewarding."

When asked about his favorite memories from his time at City, Petrides had plenty to choose from both as a player, and coach.

On the football field, Petrides was a member of some excellent Knights teams, particularly his junior and senior seasons. Both of those seasons ended with lopsided victories against City's biggest rival, Poly- a 52-6 win his junior season, and a 42-6 result in his final high school football game.

He also enjoyed some memorable moments as a coach. Ending City's 17 game losing streak against Poly in football in 1987 on a crazy broken play certainly sticks out for him. Coaching the Knights to a state title in girls basketball in 2009 is also a highlight.

"That was the first team state championship City has every won. We played at noon at UMBC against a really impressive River Hill team that was undefeated and we won in overtime," Petrides said. "The boys basketball team was playing for a state championship at College Park later that day, so we all went down and cheered for them as they did it. That was a great day."

The hope is good days will continue for City under new athletic director Rolynda Contee, who graduated from City in 1998 and played basketball for Petrides. This isn't the first time Contee has taken over a job for Petrides- she replaced him as girls basketball head coach two years ago.

Contee had a conversation with Petrides around winter break when he let her know he was considering this as his final year. He was also curious to see if Contee would be interested in taking the job.

"She's better on the computer than I've been, which will be helpful for her," Petrides said. "She's very energetic and already has some good ideas for the program. I can't think of anyone better to take this on."

To Contee, there's no one she'd rather learn about the job from.

"He's produced professional and college athletes, but more than that he's helped groom exceptional young men and women. The number of people coming back to thank him is remarkable," Contee said. "He is City College. When you think of City, you think of him."

In Contee, City is getting an athletic director who isn't looking to make radical changes straight away, but wants to put her own touch on the program.

A three sport coach herself, Contee has already passed the reigns of the volleyball team over to Petrides' daughter, Christina. Contee plans to remain as the school's girls basketball coach, and is undecided at this time on if she will remain the coach of the softball team.

"I just want to kind of see how I do getting into the position. See how much I can handle," Contee said. "I know he did it, three sports all the whole way through. I just don't know if I'll be ready."

In addition to the pride she feels in taking over for a legend like Petrides, Contee is excited to become the first female athletic director in City's history.

"It's a chance to show that we can also do things just like the men," Contee said. "The fact that I went here adds to it and really makes it a win win for me. That'll make me work harder and harder to keep this tradition alive."
June 8th, 2017By: Wick Eisenberg

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