The Iroquois Field Hockey team defeated Eden tonight by a score of 4-1. In doing so they gifted their Head Coach, Pete Tonsoline, with his 400th win.
Tonsoline, who reaches the milestone after 26 years as the Varsity coach, is in his 36th year as a member of the Iroquois Field Hockey coaching staff.
Tonsoline’s overall record as a Varsity coach currently stands at 400-85-29. He has led the program to 14 ECIC Divisional Championships, six Section VI Championships and three Regional Championships.
Those accomplishments pale in comparison to the impact he has had on former players and the legacy he will ultimately leave on the program.
“He called me up a year after graduation – I was going to Buff State at the time – and asked if I would be interested in coaching,” said Denise Reed, who played for Tonsoline during her time as a student at Iroquois.
The opportunity to help continue building the culture that was and is “Iroquois Field Hockey” was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.
While the team accolades have piled up winning itself has never been a focal point.
Tonsoline, who has made it a point over his tenure to add coaches to the staff that are character role models, has two expectations of his staff:
#1 – Inspire and support each player to help them build their character.
#2 – Make sure that every member of the team enjoys each day they spend in the program.
As for the players, it’s just as simple:
Continue the long line of sportsmanship, character, excellence and maximum effort displayed by previous and current players.
The rest will take care of itself… and that it has.
“The culture that he has created has stuck with me since high school, it really is a special thing,” continued Reed. “He took the fundamentals that Barb Miller had instilled and still managed to make the program his own.”
His attention to detail, knowing when to give an athlete that “extra push” or pull them aside for some extra words of encouragement have only added to the culture.
“Everything is just different when he’s around,” said Reed. “He commands the attention of each player at practice. He’s so selfless with his time and the girls know how much he cares about them.”
Eventually Tonsoline will have to step down as the Varsity coach, but when he does, his legacy will remain for decades to come.
On behalf of the entire team at WNY Athletics, congratulations on your 400th win, coach.
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