The article below originally appeared on MercuryNews.com and is being reprinted with permission.
This is the ninth in a 10-part series profiling the 2011 inductees into the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame.
You can’t keep this old ball coach off the pitch.
Frank Mangiola retired in 2005 after 35 years of coaching soccer, the final 25 at Skyline and Cañada colleges.
But he found he missed it. No big surprise. For Mangiola, coaching soccer was a labor of love, not a punching-the-time-clock kind of job. It was something to look forward to every day rather than a toil or grind.
So after he helped former assistant Mike Keller get the head coaching position at Menlo College — he knew Keith Spataro, Menlo’s athletic director, from their time at Skyline — Mangiola agreed to come on board as an assistant.
“It’s great,” said Mangiola, who will be inducted June 14 into the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame. “I’m really enjoying it. The kids are great.”
Coaching at Menlo, along with the weekly indoor soccer class he teaches at College of San Mateo, allows Mangiola, who will turn 70 in June, to keep his hand in the sport that has occupied him since his childhood in San Francisco.
Mangiola played CYO soccer for University of San Francisco coaching icon Steve Negesco, then got started on his adult path in soccer when he filled in for his brother, Marino, as the goalkeeper for the San Francisco Athletic Club.
Marino Mangiola, 17 years Frank’s senior, also had a long coaching career in San Mateo County. Marino coached soccer and gymnastics at Half Moon Bay, Sequoia, Ravenswood and Menlo-Atherton high schools.Frank Mangiola graduated from Balboa High School in 1959 and spent four years working as a meat-cutter before being recruited by Julie Menendez (who spotted him playing for the Sons of Italy) to play goalkeeper for San Jose State.
Those were great years for the Spartans. They were eliminated by USF’s powerhouse teams in the regional finals on two occasions; then, after beating USF in their third NCAA Tournament appearance, they lost to eventual champion St. Louis.
Mangiola started his soccer coaching career in 1970 at Newark High School, where he also helped out with the football and track teams. In 1972 he also took on the men’s soccer job at Ohlone College. That was where he grew acquainted with the program in San Bruno.
“One time, we got into a huge brawl with Skyline,” Mangiola said.
In 1980, he took the job at Skyline and stayed there 10 years until he moved down the Peninsula to Cañada, where he reinstituted a program that had been dropped.
“Frank was a blue-collar guy who brought his lunch pail every day,” Cañada athletic director Mike Garcia said. “He trained guys and moved them on to the four-year level. He always represented the college in a first-class manner.”
Mangiola enjoyed success wherever he coached, taking four teams to the community college state finals: one from Ohlone, two from Skyline and one from Cañada. Along the way, he contributed in a big way to the development of soccer in San Mateo County.
CSM athletic director Andreas Wolf succeeded Mangiola as the coach at Skyline.
“Frank is a guy that everybody loves,” Wolf said. “He influenced so many lives in a positive way. But when I coached against him, he was the guy you wanted to shoot for. You knew if you beat him, that meant something because of all the success he had.”
Hall of Fame
What: 2011 Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner
When: 7 p.m. June 14
Where: San Mateo County Event Center
Reservations: $80 (call the San Mateo County/Silicon Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau at 650-348-7600)
Presented by: San Mateo County/Silicon Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau, San Mateo County Event Center and San Mateo County Times