The first-ever Connecticut female head high school football coach is making a name for herself, even as some opponents can’t quite reason that she’s a coach, not an athletic trainer.
“I was like, ‘Sorry, guys, uh, you’ve got to go to the trainer, not me,’” Jennifer Stango Garzone, the first female head high school football coach in Connecticut, told the Hartford Courant. “It happened more so in the beginning and not so much now.”
Garzone is the head coach at MCW United, a football co-op comprised of students from three local high schools: Wolcott Tech in Torrington, Housatonic Regional High School in Canaan and Wamogo High in Litchfield, all in Northwest Connecticut. Garzone serves as a social studies teacher at Wolcott Tech, and is also the girls basketball and softball coach, respectively, in the winter and spring.
Football is the only sport in which Garzone’s main teacher is male, but she hasn’t let that slow her down. Rather she reflected on her team’s longterm struggles. MCW United has yet to win a game since being founded as a cooperative in 2016. Garzone’s school, Wolcott Tech, last won a game in 2014.
For that reason, Garzone’s ability to help her team improve, not her gender, is seen as her most important attribute.
“We always have that mentality that we have to work hard and, hopefully, come away with the win,” senior MCW wide receiver Eric Hickey told the Courant. “I think it’s the same.”