Komo Tane has been involved in sports in one capacity or another for most of his life since coming to Jamestown from Albania at the age of 7. The area where his presence was felt the most was as a coach and administrator in the Jamestown Public School system.
Tane started his career as an elementary physical education teacher at Fairmount, Fletcher and Love schools from 1956-58. From 1958-67, he was the physical education and health teacher at Washington Junior High School as well as its coach in basketball, football and track. During that 10-year span, Washington produced seven undefeated track teams, three unbeaten basketball squads and two undefeated football teams.
From 1967-69, Tane was the administrative assistant to federal projects and the head of the elementary and secondary physical education department. Later in 1969, Tane took over as director of health, physical education, recreation and interscholastic sports in the Jamestown School System, a position he held until his retirement in 1986.
During his tenure, Tane developed a curriculum for physical education for boys and girls, kindergarten through 12th grade; introducing boys wrestling for grades 7-9; girls basketball, swimming, track, volleyball and softball; and boys hockey and coed soccer at the high school level.
P-J photo by Richard W. Hallberg
One of his greatest accomplishments was getting Jamestown into a league (the Erie County Interscholastic Conference) with schools of comparable size. Another project that Tane was instrumental in was the improvement of athletic facilities within the system, including three new gymnasiums, three football fields, one practice field and two 440-yard tracks. The new basketball gymnasium at the high school was being completed in Tane's final year.
Tane received several awards, including the Western Zone Athletic Directors Association Award of Recognition for outstanding achievement in the field of athletic administration in 1983 and the ECIC Athletic Directors Award in 1986.
Tane helped organize the Special Olympics in 1956 and the Jamestown Jaycees Midget Football League the same year. More recently, he was one of the founders of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame and served as president one year while being on the board of directors each year since its inception in 1982.
Tane has been listed in Who's Who in Education and contributed to the publication of the textbook Health and Safety for All. He has also served as a deacon and on the board of education at First Presbyterian Church and has been on several Babe Ruth and World Series committees.
From 1956-76, Tane was supervisor of the summer playground recreation program for the city. He was also president of the JHS Alumni Association.
During his younger days, Tane played on the 1948-50 Sprinchorn basketball team in the YMCA League, was on the Chautauqua County American Legion championship team in 1947 and performed for Ellington when it won the county league title in 1948. One year later, Tane played for Thule Lodge and Jamestown Veneer and Plywood in the Muny AA Baseball League and played under Joe Nagle for the Steel Partitions in 1950. He also played with the Jamestown Old Timers in 1974.
In high school, Tane played on the JHS basketball team from 1947-49. During his senior season, the Red Raiders claimed a Section 6 title.
Tane enrolled at the University of Illinois and graduated in 1956 with a bachelor's degree in physical education. While there he earned letters on the freshman football and baseball teams. After a two-year stint in the Army, Tane returned to play varsity baseball in 1955.
In 1953, Tane was a member of the Third Infantry Division baseball champions in Korea and the following year his Camp Kilmer, New Jersey squad placed second in the Second Army tournament.
He earned national recognition in Korea by receiving the Bronze Star and a presidential citation in 1954, and a U.S. service medal, a national defense service medal and a Korean service medal in 1953.
Komo Tane was inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.