“My dad was a major league player, so I tried to play baseball,” he said. “I was pretty good until they started throwing me curveballs.”
Finding his calling to the sidelines while a student assistant at Jacksonville State University, DiLorenzo went on to rack up a 170-89 record as a high school coach in Alabama before coming to Woodland, where the Wildcats have gone 6-14.
With kickoff just weeks away, the self-described shy guy declined to make a prediction for the 2013 season.
“Our goals have changed after last year,” he said. “I would simply like us to play with enthusiasm, heart, effort, class, poise and be one team. “
Name: Vince DiLorenzo Jr.
City Of Residence: Cartersville
Family: Wife, Kathy; daughters, Sydney, 25; Shelby, 18; Kassidy, 10
Occupation: Teacher and head football coach at Woodland High School
Education: Bachelor of Science degree from Jacksonville State University 1980
How did you come to be in education and coach football?
A: After my playing days were over at Jacksonville State, in order to complete my degree I needed to be a student assistant for Coach Clarkie Mayfield. During that year, I fell in love with coaching, and in order to coach at the high school level, I needed to obtain a teaching degree.
You were successful in Alabama as a coach and here at Woodland. What is the secret to success in high school football?
A: Athletes and assistant coaches. And athletes don’t necessarily have to be the most talented or athletic. It’s athleticism combined with heart, work ethic and coachability. And a head coach cannot do everything. He must have assistants who pick up the slack when the head coach stumbles.
Do you have a motto or personal philosophy on coaching?
A: Things are never as good as they seem, nor bad as they seem.
If you could coach, walk the sidelines, with one of the coaching legends, who would you pick and why?
A: Nick Saban. His teams play with such passion and are so well-organized. I’d love to sit in on his planning sessions and study him on the sidelines during a game.
What makes Bartow County special?
A: What has made my time here special so far are the parents I’ve been associated with through our Gridiron Club. We don’t have many, but the ones we’ve had have worked so hard to provide me and our coaches and players with the tools necessary to reach our potential. We need more parents to get involved because it’s not for me, it’s for their sons. They may not think it’s important, but those parents mean the world to me.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
A: I’m really shy and get very nervous every time I have to get up and speak. It’s part of the job, so I’ve learned to make myself do it.
What would you be doing if you weren’t coaching football? What is your dream job?
A: I would have loved to have been a lawyer or gotten into politics.
What is your favorite meal?
A: Filet mignon, baked sweet potato, Caesar salad, key lime pie.
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
A: I love the beach. Sitting under an umbrella watching the waves and looking out at the horizon, best stress reducer in the world.
Who would play Vince DiLorenzo in the "Friday Night Lights" version of Woodland High School’s football movie?
A: Ray Romano. Has to be an Italian.