A local youth basketball coach was recognized as one of New England’s top coaches in a 2010s decade reunion and reception recently.
John Tzimorangas, a Sandwich Youth Basketball coach, was recognized by the Positive Coaching Alliance in 2019 with the Double-Goal Coach award, given to those whose first goal is winning, and whose second, more-important goal is teaching life lessons through sports.
“I’ve been coaching kids for almost 20 years. To have someone nominate you and people write letters of references is humbling,” Tzimorangas told the Enterprise last March. “It’s great to be recognized. That’s not what we do it for, but to hear from players and parents is amazing. I look at it and say I love what I do and wouldn’t do it any other way and to be recognized for this is humbling.”
Thirteen New England youth and high school coaches—including Tzimorangas—who have received the PCA’s Double-Goal Coach awards from 2011-19 gathered at Harvard University’s Varsity Lounge. The coaches led their respective teams in a variety of sports from around the region including baseball, basketball, field hockey, football, golf, hockey, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, wrestling and more. With fruit, cheese, pastries and mimosas, the PCA award-winning coaches had the opportunity to re-connect with one another and with PCA staff and friends. They also gathered to share best practices, lessons learned, favorite memories and advice.
At the reunion and reception, Tzimorangas’s advice to young athletes was simply to “do the work,” relating how in high school he played against—and was outmatched by—Patrick Ewing, who went on to become a star at Georgetown and in the NBA, because Ewing put the work in by picking pennies off the rim. The Brookline native, who played at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, was nominated by former players and parents of players from the youth boys’ basketball team he coaches.
“Each of the 13 coaches who joined us at Harvard for this first-ever reunion of PCA Double-Goal Coach Award winners are passionate about the power of positive coaching to shape the lives of young people,” said Beth O’Neill Maloney, executive director of PCA New England. “This event was a unique opportunity to share their common experiences and the range of challenges faced by coaches in a variety of sports and environments. PCA benefited from the input of these exceptional, caring coaches.”
PCA recognizes exceptional coaches each year because “what gets rewarded, gets repeated,” and benefits from the input of coaches like Tzimorangas and the other 12 coaches at this unique event. PCA will announce its 2019-20 Double-Goal Coach award winners in March 2020.
“Just to be mentioned in New England, where I’ve done most of my work, is terrific. Anything after that is even better,” Tzimorangas said.