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Coach of the Month: Vinny Zanfardino

Vinny Zanfardino started his coaching career in 1997 when he stepped up to coach his daughter’s Little League team.

What started as a hobby turned into a full-blown obsession for Zanfardino, 48. Coaching became an outlet to do some good for children while staying close to the game he loves: baseball.

“Coaching was something where I could give back to the community,” said Zanfardino. “I got a lot of joy out of the kids really taking to it. You got to the field and they’re all ‘Coach, coach coach!’ That’s the reward of it.”

The Massaqequa native says he sees the ball field not just as an athletic proving ground, but as a place where players learn lessons they can take with them to other areas of their lives.

“I worked on the floor of the Commodity Exchange with the guys who do the screaming and yelling, buying and selling,” Zanfardino says. “And most of those people were athletes once.”

Now the coach of the Massapequa Federation of Teachers Angels, Zanfardino enjoys working with his son Mathew, 12, a promising young player who currently attends Berner Middle School.

Zanfardino says he doesn’t emphasize winning . He chalks the accomplishments of his team up to the players simply “knowing how to work together.”

“When we bring everyone in we always say: ‘one, two, three, teamwork,’” the coach explained. “Always, no matter what sport, you play for each other.”