Matt Mincone, head coach of the high school boys hockey team and West Tisbury police chief, was surprised at work Tuesday when six of his players presented him with a plaque honoring his 200th win which came late in the season against Nantucket.
“It’s a memorable thing for me but it’s really not why I do it in the big picture,” Mr. Mincone told the Gazette by phone Wednesday. “It really goes back to the kids. This season, more specifically, is one you’ll never forget and to have an event like that happen during the season just makes it kind of cool because I’ll remember it that way.”
Mr. Mincone became the head coach during the 2001-02 season, after starting out as an assistant coach. His first year the team won 20 games en route to a division two state championship title. He has been a police officer in West Tisbury since 1995 and was promoted to chief in 2018.
Mr. Mincone said the 7-1 victory over Nantucket this year was memorable in more ways than one. After falling to the Whalers earlier in the season and losing multiple defensemen to injuries, the head coach moved his senior captain, Aiden Marek, from his normal wing position to the blue line and the Vineyarders found their form.
“The whole team kind of took shape when we went over there,” Mr. Mincone said. “I won’t forget it. I wouldn’t have forgotten this season anyway. The seniors this year, they’ve been through a lot and they have been right there with me all along. It’s good to see those guys become good young men. I was happy to see them all there.”