Mariner pays tribute to former soccer coach DeSimone
Last updated 4/10/2019 at Noon
He has been gone for only a year, but it seemed like forever considering the warm welcome former soccer coach Vince DeSimone received from the Mariner High School community.
Hugs from current players, former players, friends and well-wishers were in abundance at the Mariner/Cascade boys soccer game Wednesday, April 3, at Goddard Stadium.
The school honored DeSimone during a special halftime ceremony, where he was presented with a plaque for his years of service to the Mariner soccer programs
DeSimone coached the boys soccer team for 15 seasons before stepping down last spring. He led the Marauders to league and district championships and three state tournament appearances. DeSimone also guided Mariner’s girls team for three years and coached numerous youth soccer teams. He was introduced to the crowd as “one of the winningest coaches in Washington state.”
Current Mariner coach Henry Busch said that he felt fortunate to have worked with DeSimone.
“He taught me a lot about what it takes to coach and also what it means to work with kids at Mariner,” Busch said. “Vince left a great legacy that I know will be big shoes to fill.”
Busch extended an open invitation to his mentor.
“Vince, you will always be welcome at the Mariner soccer field,” Busch said.
DeSimone admitted he still misses working with the players and that he occasionally stops by during games to take a look at the action.
“The kids mean everything to me,” DeSimone said. “I miss them. Sometimes I drop by here, park my truck and watch a little bit. I still can’t get away from this.”
The former Mariner coach is keeping busy. He’s still working at Boeing and is the owner of The New Mexicans restaurant in Everett. His daughter is expecting twins shortly.
DeSimone was surprised when the school contacted him about a special night in his honor.
“It’s big for me. I didn’t expect this,” he said. “I was surprised. It feels good to be appreciated for all these years.”
Perhaps in part to the presence of their former coach, the Marauders rallied to defeat Cascade 2-1 to improve to 3-3 in the league.
As a special tribute, all of the Mariner players and many spectators in the stands wore special T-shirts with the No. 11 in recognition of DeSimone’s son Nick, who passed away more than a decade ago. Nick’s number 11 was retired by the school, the first such recognition for a Mariner athlete.
“That hit my heart,” DeSimone said.
Through the years, DeSimone was able to coach all three of his children Michelle, Mike and Nick. Those experiences and others during his time at Mariner High School lift DeSimone’s spirits.
“It was the best time ever,” he said. “I have a lot of good memories.”