Friends, family, coaches and, most of all, players were by no means surprised. Many were of the opinion that maybe it was long overdue.
On the other hand, Wyoming East head coach Angie Boninsegna deflected all of the credit to everyone around her.
That, too, was no surprise.
Boninsegna was recently honored as the 2018-19 West Virginia Girls Basketball Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association.
“It’s not my award. It’s the kids that played on the teams. It’s the coaches that worked with us, the statistician, Mom and the community,” Boninsegna said. “We have been blessed to accomplish a lot over the years. So it’s not my award, it belongs to everybody that has been involved with our program.”
Wyoming East finished the 2018-19 season 24-4 under Boninsegna and finished as the Class AA girls runner-up. It was the third trip to the state championship game over a four-year span which rendered a state championship banner in 2016.
In a letter sent to Boninsegna, the NFHS stated “the award exemplifies our standard of excellence in coaching and you definitely meet those standards.”
A point guard during her playing days at Pineville High School in the early 1980s, Boninsegna seemed primed to be a head coach one day.
“I really hated to shoot the ball. I was a point guard and my job was to get everybody involved in the game. Together we create more than what one person ever could,” Boninsegna said. “My dad had a lot to do with it. That is the way he thought. He always told me to treat your players as people first and players second. I try to do that. I try to treat my No. 12 player on the team just like my No. 1 player on the team. We are a family through the good and bad.”
Boninsegna’s father is credited by his daughter as the influence that got her into coaching.
“My dad was the main influence for sure,” Boninsegna said. “He had such an impact on me and so many others. He was my greatest contributor. He was very athletic, but you never knew that from him. Other people came up to us as we were growing up and told us how good he was and the difference he made in their lives.”
“He was the type of man that if kids wanted to start a program they didn’t have at their school, he stepped in,” Boninsegna went on to say. “He coached wrestling and he coached track because the kids wanted the program. He got out of coaching when we were young and was a guidance counselor. He loved sports and was very knowledgable of the game. He had one rule for (my brother) Sonny and I: Once you start, you don’t quit. You finish out the season. You don’t let people down. He was so supportive.”
During her time as head basketball coach, the Lady Warriors have experienced great success and had to battle some overwhelming adversity. Boninsegna has treasured every step along the path.
“I just approach each season game by game and it is hard to believe it has been 27 or so years in tennis, about 26 in some form or fashion in basketball. You could ask me how many games I have won, I couldn’t tell you,” Boninsegna said. “I never looked at a book to see how many points a player scored. I have been really blessed to have so many great kids.”
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