UNION CITY -- Tom Rosenthal sweats the small stuff -- all the small stuff.
His approach has led the James Logan High athletic department to some big things.
"I've been that way my whole life," the retiring Logan athletic director said of his attention to detail. "I got this from my mom. She was a stay-at-home mom and she was extremely meticulous with her house."
Rosenthal, a Pleasanton resident who will turn 62 on June 24, has kept his athletic house in remarkable order. He has taught for 31 years in the New Haven Unified School district, including two stints at Logan, 1983 to 2000; and 2006 to 2014.
He coached the Colts wrestling team to eight North Coast Section titles and two runner-up finishes during a glorious stretch in the 1990s. He has been inducted into the California Wrestling and Chabot College halls of fame.
His 1996 Logan team, led by state champion Stephan Abas and runner-up Jesse Reta, took third place in the state with 100.5 points, just two behind champion Calvary Chapel.
To this day, 18 years later, Rosenthal is still looking for those darn three points.
Count Logan football coach George Zuber as a member of the Rosenthal fan club.
"We've had a great relationship," Zuber said. "He's the only athletic director I've known at Logan, and he's just a very unique individual in that he's always very meticulous in his paperwork and his details.."
Rosenthal's colleagues all say the same thing about him: He leaves no stone unturned.
"There's always a plan," current Logan wrestling coach Eli Bagaoisan said of his mentor. "He always has a Plan B and a Plan C to everything."
Rosenthal, Logan's athletic director for 14 years, all told, is known for his immaculate office, and his devotion to student-athletes and coaches.
He coached and taught at Union City's Cezar Chavez Middle School (formerly New Haven), in between his time at Logan, in part because he wanted be more involved in his son Joe's golfing career. Joe played for four years at Foothill and now heads Rosenthal Sport and Fitness in San Ramon.
With his final day set for June 27, Rosenthal will leave the Logan program in good shape. He notes that about 28 percent of the student body, or nearly 1,200 students, were involved in athletics during the school year, including an impressive 200 total in the track and field and cross country teams.
The combined GPA of Logan's student-athletes has risen steadily from a 2.87 in 2007 to 3.07 this year.
"That's a big deal to me," Rosenthal, a UCLA graduate, said. "I saw the improvement happening. My coaches jumped on board."
Zuber can attest to Rosenthal's passionate approach. They share a bond as former wrestlers.
"He loves to get up and get really close; he's a close talker and very animated with hand gestures," Zuber said. "I'll go in his office, and because we both have a wrestling background, we'd kind of wrestle around a little bit, just for fun. You'd get talking about wrestling or football, or anything that gets Tom fired up, and he starts, as most wrestling guys do, to grapple a little bit. I'm gonna miss that."
A former three-sport star at now-defunct Marina High in San Leandro, Rosenthal had successful coaching runs at Marina and Arroyo before coming to Logan in 1983, at the invitation of former Colts wrestling coach Wilson Nacario, a longtime friend.
Former New Haven superintendent Guy Emanuele, who died about six months ago, forged a close relationship with Rosenthal after Emanuele purged the Logan athletic and physical education programs in 1983. Rosenthal describes Emanuele as a "great man" who had a lot of guts.
Bagaoisan received valuable coaching tips from Rosenthal when he was starting out.
"I didn't think I would be a wrestling coach or a PE teacher here, and in a way he kind of led a path to my life," said Bagaoisan, who competed on Rosenthal's first section championship team. "It's something I kind of fell in love with, the coaching part. Little did I know that he was actually grooming me to be the head coach."
After Rosenthal graduated from Marina, legendary Chabot wrestling coach Zack Papachristos recruited him to Chabot and changed his destiny.
"That guy hounded me. Greatest recruiter ever," Rosenthal said.
Rosenthal's old high school wrestling coach, Marshall Stone, helped him land his first coaching job at Marina in the mid-1970s.
"He marched me down to the principal's office, and he says, 'Here's your new wrestling coach.' I was 23 years old, about five years older than my senior wrestlers, and we did well," Rosenthal recalled.
Bagaoisan marvels at Rosenthal's amazing run of wrestling success. No detail was too small.
"Building a program literally from nothing to a state-caliber program is something," he said. "He did it his way. ... He always told me that there's a rhyme and reason for why I do things, stick with me and it will be OK."