GATOR CHAMPS: ANGELO PANZETTA
Updated: Oct 22, 2020
During a regular academic school year, Coach Panzetta leads the Allegheny College Men’s Soccer team and shoulders a zillion different tasks. His focus, of course, is to prepare our student-athletes for their games and practices but Coach Panzetta looks at his role as head coach as more than just that. He is dedicated to “assist and guide the players with their academic, career, and athletic pursuits.”
With the help of his assistant coaches, John Lichina and Brendon Hall, Coach Panzetta wants to do all he can to help his players balance their athletic and academic responsibilities. With Allegheny College being such a rigorous school, Coach Panzetta pushes his charges to aim for success on and off the field. Year after year, the Men’s soccer team’s cumulative GPA continuously ranks high amongst other athletic teams.
This a point of pride for Coach Panzetta but nothing compares to the satisfaction that he gets from working with his team during the play seasons in developing the 'character' of the current players.
For the Men’s Soccer team, the academic semesters keep the players under Coach Panzetta's eagle eye. The fall semester is when most intercollegiate competitions take place. The spring season is off-season but it's also when underclassmen rigorously train for roughly five weeks.
When the pandemic hit Allegheny College and the rest of the world, the soccer team was in the middle of their Spring 2020 prep. The quarantine changed Coach Panzetta’s job as a coach. Suddenly, he found himself preparing his players to adjust to remote learning. This, on top of the new reality of online recruiting. Throughout the year, Coach Panzetta is always recruiting prospective students from various high schools. A major aspect of recruiting is getting the players onto campus, to tour the grounds and spend a night with current players. With the stay at home order in effect, however, that tool was no longer available.
To compensate for that, Coach Panzetta has been on FaceTime with recruits, as he walks around campus, trying to still bring Allegheny’s campus to life. As he tries to gather the class of 2024, video calls with prospective students and parents have become the norm.
Like everyone else, the stay at home order has changed life on the personal front as well for Coach Panzetta. But this has been for the better. He has been able to find time for things that he typically wouldn’t be able to do -- “my lawn and planting areas around the house have never looked so good!” he says happily. He has also been able to spend a lot more time with his wife and daughter who are at the center of his world.
Throughout the pandemic, Coach Panzetta has been in constant contact with his current team members, trying to make sure that they feel connected with college life and with each other, despite the physical distance between them.
Whether making tough decisions -- whether courses should be taken for Credit/No Credit, registering for the fall semester, or deciding what campus housing works best -- Coach Panzetta is constantly making sure that his players are doing what is best for them. His advice: to “be flexible, ready to adapt” and to “control what you can control."
He wants to share the words and messages that he has shared with his team time and time again, with the greater Allegheny community:
“COVID-19 has effected everyone, be smart, be safe, and fight on. Don’t spend time worrying about what you can’t control, try and keep a healthy life style, stay busy, find a new hobby, and enjoy the time with your families. I hope we are all back together soon!”
~~ Head Men's Soccer Coach at Allegheny College, Angelo Panzetta. Interviewed by Jack Barron-Sluga (Class of '22; History Major, Education Studies Minor)
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