A woman had NEVER been a head coach in the history of Connecticut high school football until Jennifer Stango Garzone came along. She was named head coach of Wolcott Tech in Torrington in February of 2019 after spending many years as an assistant coach. She understands that her commitment and dedication paid off, “I think being an assistant for seven years probably had a lot to do with me getting the job. It wasn’t something that just came out of nowhere. I paid my dues and had to work hard to get this job.”
The Meriden, Connecticut, native played women’s semi-pro football for several years before focusing all of her attention on coaching. Stango Garzone’s life is a balancing act. She’s raising a baby girl as well as trying to build a football program that’s been downtrodden for years.
“It’s a hard job just like any other coaching position. But it’s the longest season out of any of the sports. So, you have to be willing to put in the time, make the commitment, and be dedicated to your craft. There’s always something to learn and things are always changing. You just have to be able to adapt and adjust.”
Stango Garzone didn’t get any pushback from her players or opposing coaches when she made history. She feels the only thing that should matter is the bottom line – her record. She urges young women who want to play or coach football to follow their love and passion for it.
“I would tell them, be willing to put the work in and you can do it just the same as anyone else. We actually had three girls play for us a couple of years ago. I told them they earned the right to be out there and never let fear prevent them from doing something they are set on doing.”
Stango Garzone has downplayed her role as a trailblazer, but deep down, she knows the importance of it.
“If it brings about more opportunities for young women after me in football, that will have more meaning than any title I have. Once the game starts and the first tackle is made, all that stuff doesn’t really matter.”
We commend this trailblazer who inspires moms and little girls to get involved in sports and make the most of their opportunities.