Michael A. Cioppa

    Cioppa Michael A. Cioppa

This 2019 Danbury High School Hall of Fame inductee’s teaching career spanned five decades, but he has also coached baseball, football, basketball, wrestling and softball, Michael A. Cioppa. Coach Cioppa helped lead Danbury High’s woman’s sports through the beginnings of Title IX. At Danbury High, he led the effort to achieve equal compensation for the coaches of woman’s sports. He also co-chaired the committee to adjust the DHS curriculum to meet the needs of Title IX.

In 1967, Mike began his teaching and coaching career at Danbury High. As an assistant, he has coached football, baseball and wrestling. He has also served as a head coach to Danbury High’s football, baseball, softball and woman’s basketball programs. In his three years as Danbury High softball coach, the team twice reached the quarterfinals of the state tournament. One of his players, Nancy Olson Bowen, was the first female recipient of the Danbury Old Timers Award, and she went on to a great career with the softball team at the University of Connecticut.

In six years as DHS’s head baseball coach, the team won a divisional title and played in a state tournament final. In 1983, Mike was named the New York Daily News Baseball Coach of the Year. In 1983, DHS baseball won the Sportsmanship award from the Central Connecticut Umpires Association and in 1989 again won the Sportsmanship Award from the Western Connecticut Umpires Association. Even after his teaching retirement, Mike stayed active with Danbury High baseball. Working under Head Coach Shawn Ratchford, Mike was the assistant coach who worked with the pitchers for the 2004 LL Danbury High State Championship team Nine baseball players that Coach Cioppa worked with signed professional contracts, including Eric Nolte who made it to the major leagues.

Coach Cioppa also spent two years as an assistant football coach at Western Connecticut State. As an assistant at Marist College in 2006, the softball team won its first MAAC championship and made its first NCAA tournament appearance in school history. At Division II Fort Lewis College in Colorado, the team also won its first league title and made its first NCAA tournament appearance.