Five championship coaches will be honored next spring with one of the most prestigious awards in Connecticut sports, as 2020 recipients of the Gold Key Award from the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance (CSWA).
The honorees are Cookie Bromage (Enfield field hockey), Joe Grippo (Morgan girls volleyball and girls basketball), Lou Milardo (Hale-Ray softball), Ricky Shook (Danbury wrestling) and Angela Tammaro (Greenwich Academy field hockey and lacrosse). They will be feted at the 79th Gold Key Dinner on Sunday, April 26, 2020 at the Aqua Turf Club in the Plantsville section of Southington.
Tickets for the Gold Key Dinner are $75, and are available by contacting CSWA president Tim Jensen of Patch Media Corp. at 860-394-5091 or email@example.com. Proceeds support the Bo Kolinsky Memorial Sports Journalism Scholarship, a $3,000 award named in memory of the noted high school sports editor of the Hartford Courant and past CSWA president, who passed away in 2003 at age 49.
Here is a brief look at the Class of 2020:
Cookie Bromage started the field hockey program at Enfield High School in 1967, and retired prior to the 2019 campaign after 52 seasons. Her teams won Class M state championships in 1983, 1984, 1992, 1993 and 1994, and she received the Doc McInerney High School Coach of the Year Award from the CSWA in 1996. She has been inducted eight times into halls of fame, and on Sept. 23, 2019, the turf playing surface at Enfield was dedicated as Cookie Bromage Field.
Joe Grippo coached girls volleyball at Morgan High School in Clinton for 33 seasons and girls basketball for 35, becoming the only coach in state history to win more than 600 games in two girls’ sports. His teams captured 12 Class S volleyball championships, including seven straight from 1992 to 1998, and Class S basketball titles in 1996 and 2000. He received the Doc McInerney High School Coach of the Year Award from the CSWA in 1998, and has been inducted into multiple halls of fame.
Lou Milardo spent 31 years as softball coach at Hale-Ray High School in Moodus from 1976 to 2006, retiring as the state’s all-time victory leader for a softball coach with 533 (since surpassed by Gold Key recipient Judy Deeb of East Lyme in 2013). The Noises posted a .782 winning percentage during his tenure, and won Class S state titles in 1993, 2000, 2001 and 2004. He has been inducted into three halls of fame, including the Connecticut Scholastic and Collegiate Softball Hall of Fame.
Ricky Shook took over the head coaching reins in 1999 and has led his teams to unparalleled levels. Through the 2018-19 season, Danbury has compiled a record of 364-24, a .938 winning percentage, and captured 16 Class LL championships, 15 State Open titles and two New England championships. Since 2013, he has been inducted into four halls of fame. Shook was a standout wrestler at Danbury High School and spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach for the Hatters.
Angela Tammaro, an athletic director and coach at Greenwich Academy for nearly a half-century, reached the 700-victory plateau in both field hockey and lacrosse. She earned 747 wins and an .883 winning percentage in 49 field hockey campaigns, and 700 victories and an .898 winning percentage in lacrosse. Also won 200 games in 24 seasons of basketball, finishing with a combined coaching total of 1,647 wins and 63 New England and league championships. She is a member of five halls of fame.