There have been lots of success stories throughout his 37-year coaching career in girls basketball, track and football. When he tells it, those he coaches are the ones behind all the wins and titles.
To the athletes, Zuzzio is why those Bulldog programs are a success. He passes along his vast knowledge to them, but also is their biggest supporter in competition.
His coaching philosophy is simple, “Just try to place each athlete in a position where he or she can be successful.”
Zuzzio received one of his highest honors Tuesday in Des Moines, Iowa, when he was inducted into National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame (NHSACA).
“It is pretty humbling,” Zuzzio said about the award. “You never think about it, know about it. You don’t dream about it. It is totally off the wall. It is exciting for all the kids at Baldwin.”
Zuzzio has been the Baldwin girls track coach for 37 years. His teams have won three of the past four 4A state titles. The 2011 and 2013 teams went undefeated. He has three state runner-up finishes (2012, 1996, 1995); third in 2007, won 16 league titles and 22 regional championships.
He was named the 2011 national girls track and field coach of the year by the National Federation of State High School Coaches Association. He is the third Kansas girls coach to receive this award.
“I have been blessed,” Zuzzio said. “The kids are great to work with. They love to compete.”
The coach said other factors to Baldwin’s success through the years has been quality knowledgeable coaches who have coached along beside him and supportive parents and community members.
Baldwin boys track and cross-country coach Mike Spielman said Zuzzio never veers away from his philosophy.
“Coach Zuzzio is a very dedicated individual,” he said. “He works very hard at giving the athletes a chance to be successful. He has coached for many years and has a wealth of knowledge to use to help them.
“He is very happy for them when they are successful, and the kids really appreciate that.”