Conard’s Tom Verrengia Inducted into the USA Softball of Connecticut Hall of Fame
By: Kate Maglio
On October 22, a coach, teacher, West Hartford native, and role model to many was recognized for his decades of dedication and passion towards the sport of softball. Tom Verrengia, the current girls varsity basketball assistant coach, JV girls field hockey coach, and former girls softball coach here at Conard was recognized for not only his time playing, but coaching softball as well. He was inducted into the USA Softball of Connecticut Hall of Fame two weeks ago.
Verrengia at induction ceremony alongside friends and family
I decided it was only right to interview the man himself, and hear what this incredible accomplishment means to him. During my interview with Verrengia, he provided insight into what initially sparked his interest and love for the sport. He informed me that at just the ripe age of eight he was a bat boy for a league here in West Hartford formerly known as the “FastPitch League”. Soon after, once he reached the age of 17, he became eligible to begin playing in the same league he had once bat-boyed for years before. Thus, sparking his love for the sport.
Not only was Verrengia a dedicated player, for about 25 years. He continues to prove to be a devoted coach too. His coaching career commenced his sophomore year in college at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) when he caught wind of an opening position to coach the JV Boys basketball team at Hall Highschool. Verrengia describes that his first year at Hall is when he really fell in love with coaching. A few years later, a job coaching girls softball here at Conard became available and he decided to apply. He successfully got the position, and has continued to coach ever since. He is no longer the softball coach here at Conard, as he stopped in 2017; however, he, alongside Eddie Litos, (Conard Girls Freshman Basketball Coach/ Thirds Softball Coach) founded the “Connecticut Tigers”, a travel team they organized with the intent of bettering the skill level of Newington and West Hartford softball players in preparation for High School level.
As Verrengia grew as a coach, he conveyed how the most enjoyable thing he's gotten out of coaching has been the connections, chemistry and relationships he has been able to form not only with his fellow coaches, yet his players as well. With his seasoned years of coaching, I asked Verrengia of his most memorable/favorite memory from his time coaching softball. He replied with the fond memory of when Conard’s softball team won the state championship in 2011. Despite his many successes in his career he conveyed the message: “I dont coach to win”, in turn, he coaches to make connections and improve the well-being of young adults.
As our interview was nearing to an end I asked Verrengia one final question: “What does this award/induction mean to you?” He replied: “The best thing about it (award) was knowing that over these years I’ve had the ability to help young adults enjoy the sport that they're playing.” So Coach V, congratulations on all you have accomplished and thank you for all of your dedication to each and every one of your athletes!
(1) Conard Athletics Instagram