NUTLEY, NJ--It’s an impressive number, for sure.
Mike DiPiano’s coaching career reached a new level on Oct. 11, when his Nutley High girls’ soccer team defeated Mendham, 3-2, in Nutley, for DiPiano’s 100th win with the program.
But the victory also signified a bigger milestone, as DiPiano also won his 500th career game as a high school coach.
The 42-year-old has won 293 wrestling matches as a head coach at St. Benedict’s Prep, his high school alma mater, as well as Demarest High and Nutley High. He recorded 107 wins as the baseball coach at St. Benedict’s and now has 100 more victories as Nutley’s soccer coach,
DiPiano has also served as an assistant softball coach at Nutley since 2010 and has helped that program to a pair of state sectional titles, an appearance in the Group 3 championship game and an Essex County championship.
“One hundred wins in soccer is a big accomplishment,” said DiPiano. “We are having a tough fall, we didn’t expect to be 4-8, but we are the best 4-8 team in New Jersey. Hopefully this win and celebration will jump start us for the final third of the season.”
DiPiano is a graduate of the College of New Jersey, where he wrestled for the legendary David Icenhower, who continues to have a big influence on Mike’s coaching life.
And, of course, Mike’s dad, Mike Sr., himself a legendary wrestling coach and high school administrator, along with Mike’s brother, Frank and sister, Michelle, are all high school coaches. The family matriarch is the sibling’s mom, Karen DiPiano.
Mike Sr., Mike Jr. and Frank are all induced in the St. Benedict’s Hall of Fame.
Mike was pleased that so many former players reached out to him.
“So many of my former girls have texted me, it means so much the relationships that we have made over the years,” the coach said. “Vic Kealy is my assistant this year, she was involved in so many of those 100 wins. It is pretty cool she was by my side today for this milestone.”
“Yes, it means a great deal,” he said. “I really didn’t want to talk much about the 500 wins, but it is special. I’m just happy for these kids, today.”
But then quickly, he was thinking about the rest of the 2019 soccer season.
“We can cause damage in the states,” he said with enthusiasm, as the state tournament draws closer. “Our goal is to get better each day before then. I don’t think any higher seed wants to see us on the line against them in the bracket.”