Page 3 - CHSCA Magazine Issue 2, 2019-2020
P. 3

 Touching Home Plate One Final Time
 On October 21, 2019 the Con- necticut High School coaching world lost one of its best in John Fontana. A baseball coaching legend for 41 years at Southington High School he went on to become the Executive Director of the Connecticut High School Coaches Asso- ciation in 1988. He remained in this position until his death at age 84. On the following pages you will read vari- ous tributes and memories about John from a variety of individuals including fellow coaches, former players, former students and cherished friends.
I had the privilege and pleasure of working with John for the past 35-plus years as the Treasurer of the CHSCA. No one cared as much for this asso- ciation as he did. His first love was coaching baseball but to organize all of our 28 sports and activities into one gigantic association was truly special and took amazing skills. He worked effortlessly to improve each and every sport for which he was responsible. No one was left out.
John and Connecticut High School Coaches Association were considered outstanding leaders in National Coach- ing Associations. We were fortunate to host three National Coaching Clinics and Award Ceremonies. Hundreds of coaches from across the United States attended. John was our leader and made sure every event went smoothly with nothing left out.
I am still awed by the amount of work, time and effort that he devoted to our association.
His love for his family, friends and all coaches was truly monumental. John will have touched home plate one final time but his running the bases will never be forgotten.
Rest in peace my friend, Jiggs.
– Robert “Jiggs” Cecchini, Interim Executive Director, CHSCA
 I would like to remember the contributions of an extraordinary teacher, coach, mentor and man: John Fontana, the Connecticut High School Coaches Association longtime executive director. John spent a lifetime contributing to the betterment of high school sports and student athletes’ experiences in Connecticut. He took great pride in the successes that these athletes attained and he took great pride in the CHSCA’s ability to support these athletes and their coaches in any way that he and the CHSCA could. He particularly enjoyed All-State evenings where the achievements of so many student athletes and contributors could be celebrated. John has left an indelible mark and a lasting legacy on Connecticut High School sports and its student athletes. He will be sorely missed.
– Paul Christensen CHSCA President East Lyme High School
John Fontana is pictured at Fenway Park in Boston, home of his beloved Red Sox, on September 4, 2011 when he received a special presentation on the field. Pictured with him are his wife, Dottie (far left) and his youngest daugher, Alyssa (center).
  John was a well-
respected man and I felt it was an honor and privilege to work with him. I am glad I had that chance even for a short time. I learned so much from him. What he has done for coaches and the CHSCA is tremendous. John was a pillar of the CHSCA and worked to make it the well- regarded organization it is today. He led the CHSCA as he coached his teams – adherence to tradition, strong guidelines, discipline and compassion. he knew there was a time for toughness and a time for
understanding. His passion and support for coaches showed in all he did.
This same passion was what epitomized his coaching career. John was strict and disciplined but he was also a coach who cared about his kids – all of them. He was a role model for all of us. A legend...
John was also a man who cared deeply about his family. Whenever he talked about them his pride and love for all of them welled up in his eyes and heart... especially Dottie and the

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