Catching up with coach and owner Coach Mike Pina Sr: Life in Brockton, College football and coaching
Recently, QB Velocity had the privilege to interview Coach and co owner Coach Mike Pina Sr! He talks about his early life in sports, why he started coaching and advice for upcoming athletes.
Coach Pina Sr. as been a coach for many years and has experience from youth , high school and college football. He has been a referee for a long time as well at multiple levels.
He is currently serving as the Quarterbacks coach for Raymond high school.
Talk about what it was like growing up in Brockton?
We grew up on the East side of Brockton in the 70s and 80s and it was a fantastic experience! There was always neighborhood kids to play with , we played sports year round and always had something to do. The city had so much pride for our football team everyone went to the games, as a young boy it was your dream just to be able to wear that black and red uniform and run out on the field to 10,0000 fans!!
We also had our home grown Middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Nobody ever missed one of his fights in the 80s. The city shut down in 81 when he won the title, still one of my favorite memories when my mother got me out of school to welcome him back at city hall with about 15,000 other Brocktonions. I got to personally meet him in 83 and of course he was Champion of the world while we were winning back to back Super bowls in 84 and 85, it was fun times.
What sports did you play growing up?
I played baseball, football and floor hockey.
How was your experience at Brockton High?
It was an incredible time to be a football player going to the High school living in that city! I wasn't the greatest student and if it wasn't for football I may not have even made it through High school. I was lucky enough to have played for a Coach that made it clear the importance of being part of a team and what it meant to be a part of a Brockton High school football team!! But also while I had the opportunity to play for this great team and by being part of this team it helped me get my education,
I also had my biggest disappointment as I never had the opportunity to be the starting quarterback, which was part of my dream living in the City. I did however do anything and everything to get on the field, I played on all the special teams, I worked my way in as a nickel back on defense, played wide receiver whenever they needed me and even got a sack my junior year as a linebacker! So now looking back I believe this could have been the best training I could have got to be a good Coach.
How was it playing football at UMass Dartmouth?
It was a very different experience than playing in High school. I was a young freshman coming in at age 17 my roommates, who were on the team, were 23 & 24, at times I just felt like someone's little brother playing with the older kids! I still got to start at Free safety and had some fun games and as a D3 program they did a good job of helping all the student athletes succeed.
What made you get into coaching?
I actually first started coaching little league baseball at age 15 with my old Coach Paul Wilgoren . He taught me so much about communicating with the players and the importance of giving back to the games you love through coaching, teaching and just being there for your players.
I also had the pleasure of playing for the greatest coach in Massachusetts history , Coach Armond Colombo, when I played for him I wanted to be like him and Coach football. His personality and words resonate through my teachings to this day!
Talk about the different levels of football that you have coached at and the positions you have coached.
I've coached 6th - 8th grade youth, High school and college. Every age group is so different, it's what makes me enjoy coaching so much. The different development stages are what's fun to me. I have Coached every position at some point of my career. When I coached at Xaverian Brothers High school I started out as a Defensive back Coach,
I then became the defensive coordinator for the freshman and the defensive end Coach for the varsity. In College at Bridgewater State university I was the RB Coach and Special teams coordinator, and when I Coach 6 - 8th grade I Coach wherever I'm needed usually the offensive line. Of course as a Coach with QB Velocity I specialize in Quarterbacks of every age and grade but also train every position on the field.
Talk about officiating career and how it has benefited you.
My Officiating career started when I was 19 years old, I had left UMass Dartmouth and my father, who was an official, wanted to know what I was going to do during the football season. As a way to stay in the game I took the test and past it
It's been a thrilling 33 years of football in stripes. I was lucky enough to have officiated 3 State championship games and also got to meet countless amounts of people who loved the game as I do.
I've now retired from officiating, 2020 being my first year out of stripes completely, the value of learning and knowing the rules completely is a must for anyone who wants to truly succeed as a Coach, working all those years have given me that and so much more.
What are some of the rewarding factors about playing football?
I say it all the time that what I love about what football teaches, mirrors so much what happens in life. The ups and downs, the wins and losses, at work, at home in everything you do, football will prepare you for it, that's what's rewarding.
What made you want to start QB Velocity?
I'm in the stands at Gillette stadium watching my son play Quarterback for Xaverian Brothers when an old friend of mine comes and finds me at half time he says "what have you done with your son. " The last time my friend had seen my son was about 10 years before and my son was a big kid playing left tackle for his pop Warner team, now he's playing at Gillette for the #1 team in Massachusetts, about to win the state championship and he's been named the co-MVP as the Quarterback!
My friend says "Can you do that for my son." I said sure, so I asked my son to help me and as we started training more kids, I said I think we might have a business here.
What is the biggest advice you like to tell athletes?
No matter what you're doing, always know someone is watching you, on and off the field. College coaches, prospective employers, other players. No matter the situation in a game or in the season you treat the game, the players and coaches with respect .
That attitude will be noticed just as much as a negative attitude. Always be a positive influence.