When I first took over the baseball beat here at The Journal News, I had already heard plenty about what to expect from Mamaroneck coach Mike Chiapparelli (pictured to the right). I had spoke with Chiapparelli on the phone a few times (it’s pretty much one of the rules of initiation around here for newcomers to see if they can understand Chap over the phone), so I knew that he was passionate about high school sports, but I truly began to understand how much he cares once I got to know him a bit through baseball. My colleague Mike Dougherty (who some of you may know from the hockey and lacrosse blogs) wrote a story for Sunday’s paper on Chap and his longtime hockey assistant Art Bruno. And while the story focuses on the dynamic between the two coaches on the hockey bench, there’s a lot that translates to the baseball diamond.
The best part might be what many athletes around Mamaroneck refer to as ‘Chapanese.’ Those who have spoken to Chap know that he talks very quickly and it can all blend together until you get used to it. As Dougherty wrote, ”…nobody fits more raspy words in a single sentence than Mike Chiapparelli.” But more so than Chap’s dizzying use of the English language, the story focused on his unique skills as a motivator and his undeniable commitment to his student athletes. He’s had tons of success with both the Tigers’ baseball and hockey programs, and he’s still just as energetic as he was when he first started. Without a doubt, Chiapperelli is one of the legendary coaching figures in Section 1.
Photo from Mike Roy/The Journal News