East Rutherford, NJ – The New York Giants and Gatorade have selected Mr. Tommy Baleno of Union-Endicott High School (Endicott, NY) as the Lou Rettino High School Coach of the Week for Week 5 of the 2021 season. The Union-Endicott Tigers are 4-0 this season following their 8-0 victory over Maine-Endwell last Friday in a matchup of undefeated teams.
The Lou Rettino High School Football Coach of the Week Award is part of the Giants' continuing effort to support local youth football programs. The Giants elected to name the award in memory of former Union High School (NJ) coach, Lou Rettino, for his fine commitment to the game of football, his community and the betterment of his athletes' lives. Each week during the high school football season, the Giants selected one area high school head coach as the Coach of the Week winner. The selection is based on the coach's continuing commitment towards promoting youth football, developing motivated student-athletes and his overall community involvement.
In recognition of Coach Baleno's selection as Coach of the Week, a $2,000 check will be granted to the school's football program from The Giants Foundation and Gatorade. He will also receive a certificate of recognition signed by Giants head coach Joe Judge.
Coach Baleno is in his ninth season as head coach of the Union-Endicott Tigers, following seven seasons as a defensive coordinator and assistant coach at the school. In his time as head coach, he has led the Tigers to five Section IV Championships and one state regional title.
A 1991 graduate of Union-Endicott, Baleno is a product of Tiger Football, having started his playing career with the Endicott Youth Program and progressing to the varsity level. As a varsity player, he was a defensive back on the 1989 New York State High School Championship team. Baleno continued his football career at Buffalo State College where he was a defensive back on their ECAC Championship team. Baleno ended his playing career with four seasons on the B.C. Jets semi-professional football team and was part of the team that won the Empire State Championship.
Throughout his years as a player and coach, U-E Tiger Football has had much success, including 17 Section IV Championships in which Baleno was a part of: two as a player, one as a defensive back coach, four as a defensive coordinator, and five as the head coach. He was also a part of four of the five NY State Regional Championships that U-E earned: two as a player and two as a coach.
He said, "I am thrilled to be leading a team and a football program that the school community is so proud of." He is appreciative of the opportunity to reside in the community he grew up in, surrounded by his family and friends who support him on and off the field. He feels especially blessed to share his life with his loving wife and their two beautiful daughters.