It’s not every day that you see an 81-year-old out on the football field with as much spring in his step as the players. But it’s a regular sight in Glastonbury: assistant coach Bob Tigno has been in the game longer than most of his player’s parents have been alive.
Tigno has been coaching since 1964 – 55 years of experience. He has six championship rings with four different programs. He also has a motorcycle. It’s usually only the rings that he doesn’t bring to practice.
"They all say, ‘can we ride it, can I ride it?’ And I say, ‘yeah go, take it.’ But you can't ride it without keys," said Tigno.
The Tomahawks assistant coach's humor though, usually stays in the parking lot.
"When I started I was loud and yelling and all that,” Tigno said of his coaching style over the years. “But now I've toned down on the field but in practice, maybe I'm old school but I think sometimes you have to yell to get your point across."
That’s an approach that's just fine by Glastonbury head coach, Eric Hennessy.
"I think coach Tigs is always there to make sure that kids do the right thing and give great effort,” Hennessy said. “He demands it."
”You can't give more than 100 percent so let’s try to give 100 percent all the time,” Tigno said of what he’s told his athletes, no matter what decade. “And if you give 100% you'll get better either today or even the future."
It’s advice worth listening too, after all, it’s the same philosophy that’s kept him coaching into his eighties.
“I don't think about being 81 or this is what keeps me young,” he said. “I just come out and try to do my job the best I can. I try to give it 100 percent when I'm here."
Glastonbury is 3-2 so far this season. They play at New Britain Friday at 7 p.m.