By: Bob Shwalb – The Record
Bonnie Zimmermann, Glen Rock
Glen Rock senior captain Kai Mangino said coach Bonnie Zimmermann is an amazing role model, a hard worker and a den mother.
“She’s much more than a coach,” Mangino said.
This year, Zimmermann led the Panthers to the North 1, Group 1 crown, their first state sectional title since 2000, and is named The Record girls tennis Coach of the Year.
“I like to get to know my players and find out what motivates them,” Zimmermann said. “Some need you to help them get pumped up and others, they have to stay calm.
“Some are motivated by food. Like, ‘If you win today, I’ll get you Cheez-Its.’ ”
This fall, the Panthers earned plenty of snacks by winning 16 of their 18 matches.
Along the way, Zimmermann built up a high level of trust with her players, forming what Mangino referred to as “partnerships.”
Zimmermann is outgoing and fun-loving and her list of mantras includes “play hard and never give up.”
“I’m always telling the girls, ‘Play your best and have a good time. Play to win but don’t judge yourself on the outcome.’ ”
Zimmermann said her job isn’t work but fun.
“I love the kids and I’d do anything for them,” Zimmermann said. “I look at them as my children … part of my family. I love them all and I get that back.”