STAMFORD — It has been a life well lived. With soccer, coaching and caring at its core.
After 42 years, Mario Caminiti has decided to retire as boys soccer coach at Stamford High School.
“It’s been a process. All the years provided me a fantastic opportunity to work with so many student-athletes,” Caminiti said. “It took a while to come to this decision. But everything comes to an end. And this is the right time for me to move on to something else. I leave the Stamford boys soccer program to the young people. I think I’ve left the program in good hands.”
Caminiti started teaching at Stamford in 1973. He spent 40 years in the World Language Department, many as department head, before retiring from teaching in 2013.
“Stamford High School has always been a special place for me. Its diverse population was unique,” Caminiti said. “I came to Stamford as a foreigner (from southern Italy) so I identified with that. As a World Language teacher, I didn’t want the language barrier (learning English) to keep kids from college. I wanted kids to believe that reaching their dreams was possible with hard work.”
— Stamford HS Athletics (@TheStamfordAD) February 5, 2020
Caminiti graduated from Rippowam High School in 1968. His soccer prowess opened a door to Southern Connecticut State University. As a sophomore and junior, he attained All-New England and All-Star College Division status as those Owls qualified for two of the school’s 32 NCAA Division II Tournament appearances.
Caminiti, who graduated from Southern Connecticut State in 1972 and earned his Masters degree in 1973, began his Stamford HS boys soccer coaching career in the 1985-86 season.
The Black Knights shared the 1997 FCIAC Boys Soccer title with New Canaan. Caminiti was named Outstanding Soccer Coach of the Year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) in 2012. He was inducted into the FCIAC Hall of Fame in 2018.
Caminiti will keep in touch with the sport he loves. He’ll remain FCIAC Boys Soccer Chairman as well as a Board member of the Connecticut Soccer Coaches Association.
“Soccer has provided a vehicle for me to get to where I am and what I’ve accomplished,” Caminiti said. “Soccer opened doors for me. Soccer taught me how to survive. Soccer has been a major part of my life.”
And so, for the first time in decades, Mario Caminiti and his wife Jean — who also retired after a career in teaching — will have free time, especially in the fall.
“My wife has been the MVP of my coaching career. We have talked a lot about what we can do now,” Caminiti said. “We have a bucket list of travel to explore. Our priority is to visit our kids more. But most of all, we want to see what is out there.
“I’ll miss the camaraderie of the coaches, the boys, all the players. The relationships and friendships we developed were special,” Caminiti continued. “I feel I tried to put my best foot forward in helping develop the character of our student-athletes. I know I’m proud of all the kids who have gone on to have success in their lives.”