Congratulations to our Coach of the Week - Henry Vagnone
Henry Vagnone has been coaching longer than most of his players’ parents have been alive. He’s a loving father and grandfather of scores of his own but has also positively influenced countless men, young men and young athletes in our community and other locales around this country. Henry has long dedicated his time and talents to the SSYS community, making him an icon in both the baseball and football programs. Many Sandy Springs alumni have spent time with Henry in the batting cage, on the blocking sled, in the bullpen, running hills and being “coached up” whatever the situation may be at the time. Henry coaches all our players, no matter the player is, or what their role may be. Large role or small role no matter; Coach Henry is always invested in all his players.
Coach Henry is an old school coach. Meaning he will let the kids know what he sees and knows. He does not sugar-coat anything. If you did good, he’ll tell you. If you did bad, he’ll tell you that too. However, the good always comes with praise and the bad always comes with instruction and encouragement. Coach Henry coaches’ fundamentals, hard work, and toughness. He also coaches sportsmanship and how to be a good teammate as he develops our future fathers, husbands and community leaders. We are all very lucky to have Coach Henry’s influence on our sons in their formidable years and the kids instinctive know this and gravitate to him. They all love Coach Henry and so do we.
Coach Henry loves to coach, and we love having him as a coach. To honor him, this year we are introducing the Vagnone Trophy to the football program. It will be an annual award given to the football player that best exhibits Fundamentals, Hard Work, Toughness and Good Sportsmanship throughout the season. This award is meant to honor Coach Henry and his values so that his legacy will continue for years and decades to come.
Thank you, Coach Henry! From the players, parents, and the entire SSYS community
How long have you been coaching football? I have been coaching both Football and Baseball on and off for over 50 yrs. Coached a couple of years of H.S Reserve. Coached my three boy’s way back when. I've coached some of my Grandchildren. Most recently, Coached at the J, (a Jewish Center) for about 3/4 yrs. A friend from there directed me toward SSYS, about 8 yrs. ago. I've been Coaching both Football and Baseball ever since. Love the Park, Love the people.What age are your teams? Currently Asst Coach the 6/7 grade Football Team, and the NL Baseball Chihuahuas
What do you enjoy most about coaching?
I think what I like most about Coaching, and I kid about this, is getting a group of young snotty-nosed boys and watching them as they grow into Young Men in such a short time. How do you go about motivating your players?
Working w/a boy who is struggling for most of the season, then suddenly, he figures out how to turn the Light Switch on. I watched it happen to one of our boys a couple of days ago. It makes all the hard work worth it.
Snickers and Yogli Mogli are good incentives to get them motivated. And a pat on the back is only six vertebrae from a kick in the tail. What skills/characteristics do you look for in your players?
Always looking for Athleticism, but more importantly Attitude.What is the biggest challenge you've had as a coach and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge goes back yrs. ago when I was coaching a nine-yr. old Team. A mother came to me asking to get her son on the team. He had a club foot. His name was Tim O' Neal. His mother was not concerned that Tim played, but that he would be accepted by the boys on the Team. There were a lot of problems along the way with some boys making fun and jokes. not being accepted, things like that. To make a long story short, Tim started to make progress. Near the end of the season, we were having a Tackling Drill, Tim lined up against our Bull of a Back. I told the Back to ease up on Tim. Well, he didn’t, and he powered into Tim, but Tim was there to meet the challenge and took him down. I immediately went to Tim concerned for his wellbeing. As I got there, He was screaming I got him, coach, I got him. I asked if he wanted to do it again. He did and he did it again. I started him in our Championship Game. They corrected his problem and he played for his H.S. a few years later. The story is much longer, but you get the idea.
What advice would you give to new coaches?When not rooting for your SSYS team, who is your favorite school/sports team and/or players?
My advice to new coaches is to be Firm, Fair and Consistent. And always find something good to say at the end of the drill, or play
What has been your most memorable SSYS moment?
- The Ohio State Buckeyes, the Braves the Patriots.
- Favorite all-time football player Jim Brown
- Baseball player Stan "the man" Musial. He was the only player to take a pay cut after having a bad year the year before 20% cut. Lifetime B.A. about .325, BB. M.J.
When you aren't coaching or watching games at the fields, what do you enjoy doing most?
- Being a small part of the 11U State BB. Champion Team
- Winning the N.L. World Series after finishing the season 8 and 12. The Team caught Fire and won three 2 out of 3 series in about a 12-day period
Enjoy working around the house. Being w/ the Grandchildren and going to the beach
See our Past Coaches of the Week
- Alex Sills 10.26.2019
- Joey Flynn 10.7.2019
- Jeff McCullough 9.30.2019
- Angela Rowe 9.23.2019
- Fernando Gonzalez 9.13.2019
- Chad Mattison 9.6.2019