South Plainfield, NJ - Senator Patrick Diegnan, Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin, and Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak recognized legendary South Plainfield softball coach Don Panzarella and his family and friends in the Senate Chamber at the Statehouse in Trenton last week for his historic accomplishment of breaking the New Jersey state record for all time wins as a head coach.
“The Panzarella family is synonymous with the spirit of our home town of South Plainfield. We are known state-wide for our excellence in sports which is a direct result of our dedication to our children,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “Don learned that from his parents and he has passed it on not only to his own children but to the hundreds of student athletes which he has coached. It was an honor to be able to recognize his accomplishments.”
“It so great to have a coach who is from South Plainfield to come back and have the type of career he has had in his hometown,” said Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin. “I think it really speaks to the incredible sense of community and loyalty that makes South Plainfield special.”
“High school is such an important time of growth in our kids’ lives and I really think that sports are an important factor in that,” Assemblyman Karabinchak said. “Sports teach kids to work hard outside the classroom and push themselves to go the extra mile. Coach Panzarella embodies that spirit.”
Don Panzarella has been a coach at South Plainfield for 37 years and never had a losing season. He set the record on April 30th and the Tigers finished the season with a 17-8 record. His career record is 745-204, setting his win percentage at 79%. He has won eight sectional titles and three state group finals.