October 1st, 2015

Hyland's Heroes: Tony Vanetti

Samantha Stallings

Staff Writer

Hyland's Heroes: Tony Vanetti
From left to right: Jackie, Maggie, John, and Tony / photo provided by the Vanetti family

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland Insurance. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports.

Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Tony Vanetti and his three sisters attended Saint Albert the Great in the 70’s. His dad was a football coach and his mom was the cheerleading coach and youth group leader. Tony graduated from Trinity High School in 1987. He and his wife Jackie have two kids, Maggie is in fifth grade and John is in seventh grade at Holy Trinity.

When and how did you get your start with Holy Trinity?

I started coaching flag football at Holy Trinity seven years ago when my son was in first grade.

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved?

Several guys that I went to school with at Trinity who also happened to have sons in my son's class called and said, "let's coach football."  Of course I said yes and we are still coaching together seven years later.

What sports did or do you volunteer to help and for how long?

I coach football and help my wife coach field hockey and volleyball at Holy Trinity. It's a family affair.

What’s the connection with your faith and giving your time to student athletes?

Father Mark at Holy Trinity always says "to whom much is given much is expected" There are so many great mentors for my children at Holy Trinity I want to do the same for other people's children. It takes a village. The kids need to know life isn't easy, that life will knock you down, that you can rely on your faith and your teammates to get you through the tough times.

Who was the most influential person on your volunteer career? Why?

The most influential person in my volunteer career has been coach Ken Ellenbrand.  Coach Ellenbrand is a retired football and wrestling Coach from Trinity. He is one of the toughest guys I know. He was always the first to show up and always the last to leave.

What are your major themes/principle as a volunteer?

There's a couple of things you have to remember when you coach, you are going to hear things from your own children and other parents about individuals some bad, some good. Throw all that out and just coach. They are kids! Have fun and move on no matter how crazy some of the parents are.

What does your role at Holy Trinity bring your family?

By coaching you get to know so many of your children's classmates and their parents it's a great way to go through grade school. It's so great watching the individual development while learning and achieving his/her goals.

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of your volunteer time?

One of my fondest memories goes all the way back to flag football. Girls can play flag football in first and second grade and our best player was a girl. We treated her exactly the way we treated with the same expectations as the boys. After the season her mother sent us a letter that would melt your heart.


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