When I first met Joe Zinni, he was a tall, skinny basketball player for Batavia High School, that was obviously not a top scoring option.
He knew his role on the court and basically wound up being an assistant coach on the floor for BHS coach Buddy Brasky.
He's turned that attitude into a coaching career.
Zinni will be an assistant women's basketball coach at Saginaw Valley State University this winter and will be responsible for recruiting, tape exchange, scouting, academic progress, strength and will have responsibilities during practices and games.
"I'm very excited for this opportunity, especially at such a young age," Zinni told me Thursday night. "I've worked under great people who have helped me get to where I am. My goal of making it to the Division I level is now realistic, so I will be working harder than ever to try and get there shortly."
Zinni was a forward at BHS, but will be working primarily with the guards at Saginaw Valley.
He landed this coaching job primarily because of his work with Genesee Community College last season.
The Cougars went 24-6 and wound up finishing as one of the top eight schools in the NJCAA Division II Nationals.
After graduation from Batavia, he spent 2002-2007 as an assistant coach at both the junior and varsity levels at his home school, working with the forwards.
Zinni assisted the 2005 Section 5 Class A championship winning team that made the state tournament for the first time ever.
He has worked as an AAU and RAP coach and was an assistant coach for the Western Regional boys basketball team at the Empire State Games the past two years.
Zinni is a 2006 graduate of Buffalo State College and also has an A.S. degree from GCC.
Here at the Batavian, we wish him the best of luck and know he is going to represent Batavia well as a big-time women's basketball coach.