By Steve Tober for sidelinechatter.com
February 24, 2022
CALDWELL- Life has moved rapidly along for sports ‘lifer’ Lorenzo Sozio from his days as a quarterback at Bloomfield High School to his start as a JV softball coach at West Essex in the early 1990s to his legendary career as the head softball coach and athletic director at Mount St. Dominic.
And, while he will remain as the AD at the Mount, the veteran softball mentor is taking some time away from coaching in order to watch two of his sons play high school baseball this spring at Caldwell and also continue to closely follow the progress of a third son who continues with his little league career.
“The decision was not an easy one for me to make,” Sozio said in a release sent out earlier this week to members of the faculty at the Mount. “I will have two sons playing high school baseball this spring and I would like to be able to see them play instead of having the daily/weekend commitment of coaching softball at the Mount.”
The longtime Lions softball coach told his Mount players on Thursday, Feb. 24, that he would be stepping aside for now.
“I want to thank all our players through the years and it’s been a very enjoyable experience to be their coach,” Sozio told Sideline Chatter. “The players have allowed us to have our success as a softball program.”
One of the real plusses for the Mount girls on the current team is that a very experienced softball person already on staff is more than ready to step in to serve as the head coach moving forward since Rob Stern has served as associate head coach and has been at the Mount for 11 years.
A former highly-successful head coach at nearby Cedar Grove, Stern also heads the long-standing N.J. Pride travel softball organization and is as plugged in to the softball happenings in the state as any coach out there.
Also, longtime assistant Angelo Del Vecchio, who is also the school’s head girls soccer coach, and former Indian Hills High School standout Ashley DeYoung, who will enter her fifth season with the Lions, are also both returning for the upcoming 2022 spring campaign.
“We’re very fortunate to have such knowledgeable softball coaches already in place and am fully confident that our success will continue,” said Sozio. “I appreciate all the support from the entire Mount St. Dominic community and, as the school’s athletic director, it’s going to be great to continue to be able to follow the team’s progress once again this season as much as I possibly can.”
Sozio, who will turn 51 in May, is a 3-time Essex County Coach of the Year, who has compiled an impressive 617-173-1 record since becoming head coach at the Mount in 1996. His Lions teams have captured nine Essex County Tournament titles and have appeared in 16 ECT finals.
The Mount has also won eight sectional state titles, including seven in Non-Public A, and also captured the overall Non-Public A state championship in 2014.
As a sports dad, Sozio and wife, Jayme, are busy with their three very active sons, including Lorenzo, Jr., who is a junior at Caldwell where he is a key member of the Chiefs’ highly-successful boys basketball team this winter, along with being a second baseman, outfielder, and pitcher for the school’s baseball team. Marco, a freshman at Caldwell, is also a basketball player and a first baseman, pitcher, and outfielder in baseball. The couple’s youngest son, Nico, is a seventh-grader and baseball, basketball, and football player.
Sozio’s coaching career began after he graduated from Kean University where he spent portions of his college days playing both football and baseball. He began as a JV coach for two years at West Essex before assuming the head job for one season in 1995.
He then became a full-time physical education teacher at Cedar Grove in 1996 and was also named as the Mount’s head softball coach. He then was named as AD at the Mount in 2000.
“I’ve enjoyed coaching at the high school level for a long time and I leave open the possibility of returning one day, but for now I’m going to enjoy watching my sons,” said Sozio. “Sports are my life and it’s great that we can have the entire family be part of that on-going experience.”
Lorenzo Sozio 21-Year Coaching Career At Mount St. Dominic:
- Coaching Record – 617-173-1
- Overall Non-Public A State Title - 2014
- Non-Public, North A Champs - 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014, 2018 and 2019
- Non-Public, North B Champs – 1996
- ECT Champs – 1996, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021
- ECT Finals – 1996, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021
- Essex County Coach of the Year - 2001, 2004, 2008
- Northern Hills Conference Coach of the Year – 1998, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2009
- In the News