Even in her 49th season as coach and a major milestone reached, Anne DiPrima still has no intent of slowing down.
DiPrima, the coach of the Bethpage girls volleyball team since 1970, won her 600th career game on Friday in a 3-0 win over Great Neck South. She is the first Long Island girls volleyball coach to reach 600 wins.
Unknowingly, she said she became Long Island’s all-time wins leader last season when she passed Maura Stouter of Smithtown, who totaled 590. According to NYSPHSAA, Eden’s Stephen Pierce is the state’s all-time leader with 991.
“Along the years, I’ve had wonderful athletes and individuals who’ve worked really hard for me,” said DiPrima, who has guided the Golden Eagles to a 7-2 record in Nassau A-III. “They’re part of the legacy and part of the history.”
As important as the players were to her milestone, DiPrima tried her best to shield them from the accomplishment. She said she didn’t tell her team that the milestone was coming, but somehow, they found out and surprised her with flowers after the game.
“It’s overwhelming for me and very humbling, too,” she said.
DiPrima retired from teaching physical education and health in Bethpage in 2012 and stepped away from coaching softball in 2014, but she said she has no thoughts of retiring from coaching volleyball.
“It’s just in me,” she said. “I love every single day of being here with these kids. People ask me that question, and I always say that I’m going to coach as long as I’m enjoying what I’m doing. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, you’ve got to step away. You have to give to the kids.”