NUTLEY, NJ-- It's been a memorable school year already for Mike DiPiano, and there's still plenty of time left in the 2019-2020 campaign.
On Oct. 11, 2019, DiPiano notched his 500th victory as a high school head coach, spanning soccer, wrestling and baseball. When he won number 500, it was also his 100th win as the girls soccer coach at Nutley High.
More recently, on Jan. 22, DiPiano won his 300th wrestling match, as Nutley defeated Cedar Grove, 39-30, before an appreciative crowd in Nutley.
DiPiano has served as head wrestling coach at his alma mater, St. Benedict's Prep, as well as Northern Valley/Demarest and now, Nutley. In addition, DiPiano won 107 games as baseball coach at St. Benedict's.
DiPIano now has 510 overall wins, following the latest wrestling victory over Cedar Grove. He'll look for number 511 on Jan. 24, when the Raiders host North Bergen, at 6 p.m.
DiPiano was obviously elated at the milestone, but deferred the credit to those around him.
"It was an extremely special night, getting my 300th win at home in front of my family, friends, and the FANatics," the coach said. "I have such a wonderful support system that starts at home, with my beautiful girlfriend Lisa, my daughter Mia, and the rest of my family. They are always there for me, after the long tournaments or late nights, and I truly appreciate all they do for me.
"None of this is possible without all the great assistants I have had over the years. From my brother, Frank, Dave Carlo, and Torommia Sanders at St. Benedict's, to Brendan Guarino, Roy Dragon, and Naeem Boucher (at Demarest), to my fantastic staff here at Nutley Neal Pucillo, Nicky Ritacco, Anthony Montes, and Ralphie Dipasquale; I am lucky to be surrounded by such great men who also have a strong passion for this sport and affecting young student-athletes lives."
While DiPiano enjoyed a nice moment after the milestone win, he knows the wrestling season is a grind, and right now is a key part of the regular season.
"I am happy for the wrestlers, like I said earlier in the season, they are making Wednesday and Friday nights fun in that gym," he said. "But right now it’s back to work, trying to find a way to win our eighth match and get to 37 points on Friday night against North Bergen."