By Karen Cortés
The Waterbury Hall of Fame at the Silas Bronson Library is an exclusive roster of city notables — inventors, manufacturers, artists and athletes — who have been recognized over the years for their significant impact on the history of the City of Waterbury. Among the three newest inductees is beloved coach, teacher, and athletic director George Tirado, Sr., who was celebrated by his family, friends, and members of the community at a ceremony held on Oct. 20.
The Hall of Fame was initiated to highlight the significant accomplishments of a considerable number of residents of Waterbury. The noteworthy individuals selected are acknowledged publicly, prominently and permanently in a Waterbury Hall of Fame. Currently housed at the Howland Hughes Center in Waterbury, the Hall of Fame features photos and biographies of inductees.
Tirado’s induction to the Hall of Fame is notable not only for his achievements, but for what it represents for the Latino community in Waterbury. While nearly a third of the city’s population is Latino, Tirado is the first to be honored with a place in the Hall of Fame. “It’s not just an honor for me, but for the entire Spanish community,” said Tirado.
Tirado retired three years ago after a long career at Wilby High School, but retirement hasn’t stopped his involvement with young people. He’s often on the scene at sporting events at Wilby, supervising students or helping with ticket sales. “I loved my time at Wilby. They are my second family. I would do it all again!”
Tirado attended Kennedy High School in Waterbury, and went on to earn his bachelors degree from the University of Hartford, and a graduate degree from Central Connecticut State University. He met his wife Aurwilda after his senior year of high school. They have two sons, George Jr., and Anthony, and four grandchildren, Anthony, Gabriella, Alexa, and Nathaniel– who Tirado says are the sunshine of every day.
As a youngster in Puerto Rico, Tirado played baseball, basketball and volleyball. In Waterbury, he played high school baseball and CYO basketball. “When I was growing up, people dedicated their time to us. I wanted to give back,” says Tirado.
“My wife, two children, grandchildren, and friends have all been extremely instrumental in my involvement,” says Tirado. “I want to thank the City of Waterbury for allowing me this opportunity to represent this great city. I’m looking for more Hispanics to get involved. The ball is in our court, and we need to run with it and do what’s right.”
By Karen Cortés