After 41 years with the Burbank Parks and Recreation Department, Recreation Coordinator Mike Graceffo has retired.
A longtime fixture at Verdugo Park, Graceffo’s last day was Friday. But the 58-year-old will not be leaving the community. He will begin a part-time position with the Burbank Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley next week.
“I think I was just ready for something different,” Graceffo said. “It wasn’t anything on the city’s part. They were awesome.”
Graceffo had been working for the Parks and Recreation department since before he graduated from Burroughs High in 1976. In addition to his regular job, Graceffo has coached many youth sports teams in the community and has also coached at Burroughs and Burbank highs, St. Finbar and St. Francis Xavier Parochial schools. He is still coaching at St. Francis Xavier and is a member of the Catholic Youth Organization Hall of Fame.
Graceffo said the Boys and Girls club will give him an opportunity to do what he really loves to do.
“This sounded like something that sounded fun. It brings me back to my roots when I first started with the city when I was programming,” Graceffo said. “I love the programming aspect. I’m too wired and hyper. I have to be mobile and moving and being with the public. I like running programs and being outside.”
Graceffo said he has received lots of support.
“Wow. The end of truly remarkable era,” former Burroughs and University of Washington quarterback J.K. Scott wrote on Instagram.
Wes Hutchison, a former star baseball pitcher at Burroughs who later played in the minor leagues, also thanked Graceffo on Facebook.
“Thank you for being a positive influence on thousands of humans Mike,” Hutchison said. “You are a class act and an awesome human! Bless your future endeavors! It was a pleasure growing up in the Burbank parks and working for you!”
Graceffo said he has so many memories that he will take with him.
“Out of the 41 years I worked with Parks and Rec, I can honestly say, 40.99 (years) of the time I was happy,” he said. “How many people can actually say that about their jobs?”
Graceffo said he hopes to continue his summer MVP basketball camp, other endeavors and perhaps get back into high school coaching.
“I’m hoping that if the opportunity presents itself, I’d love to get back into it,” he said.