When Butch Martucci was honored with a special award from the Winthrop School Committee in recognition of his 150th career victory, it was Supt. of Schools Lisa Howard who made the announcement.
Mrs. Howard had a front row seat for the excellence that Martucci has brought to the Winthrop High School girls hockey program as its head coach. Howardâ€™s daughter, Gretchen, was an All-Star goaltender in Winthrop before continuing her career at Salve Regina University.
Martucci has been the head coach of the Winthrop Vikings (formerly the Lady Bulldogs co-op team with the Lynn schools) for 12 seasons. This yearâ€™s Winthrop team was 10-3-1, one game shy of the league title. Winthrop handed Peabody its only loss of the season but fell in the rematch by a 3-2 score at Larsen Rink.
The award could be viewed as a lifetime achievement award for Butch Martucci who has put Winthrop girls hockey on the map. His high school team is a perennial qualifier for the State Tournament. His Winthrop Youth Hockey girls teams have won several state titles.
Martucci humbly chose to reflect on some of his playersâ€™ achievements, rather than his own award from the School Committee.
He noted that this season Emma Holmes, part of the Holmes Terrific Triplets that includes Abby and Julia Holmes, was the Vikingsâ€™ leading scorer.
â€œTheyâ€™re awesome. Theyâ€™re great kids and they work so hard,â€ said Martucci. â€œAnd theyâ€™re big-time hockey players. The three of them contributed a ton to our team.â€
Mia Martucci, the head coachâ€™s daughter, is also a big-time Winthrop athlete. Mia was the teamâ€™s second-leading scorer and served as one of the captains this season. She played on the No. 1 line with Emma and Julia Holmes. That line produced 70 points in 14 games.
â€œMia was fantastic for us this year, she had a big year,â€ said Martucci.
Summer Tallent, representing a well-known Winthrop family, was the teamâ€™s star goaltender. â€œSheâ€™s a superstar, another one of our captains as a junior,â€ said Tallent. â€œSheâ€™s a great leader and the ultimate competitor.â€
Once a Viking, Always a Viking
Butch Martucci, 45, graduated Winthrop High in 1993. He played football and hockey and competed in track for the Vikings.
â€œI was very fortunate. I had three great coaches, Tony Fucillo, Tom Holmen, and Pat McGee. Tony was one of the most dedicated guys Iâ€™ve ever played for in my life in all sports. Tom Holmen was a very good man and Mrs. McGee was one of the best. It was very, entirely evident that she was awesome in every way. She was just a good lady.â€
Martucci was one of the Vikingsâ€™ offensive linemen who opened the paths for All-Scholastic Anthony Palmer. â€œI blocked for â€˜Touchdown Tonyâ€™ Palmer, who was one of my best friends,â€ said Martucci, who played for Winthrop in the 1992 Super Bowl.
His brother, Gus Martucci, had preceded him to Super Bowl stardom.
â€œI remember my brother helping Winthrop win a Super Bowl [in 1981], but I was not allowed to go to the game,â€ recalled Butch. â€œI had to stay home because it was cold and I was young. I was six years old.â€
He is the proud son of Minnie Martucci and the late Tony Martucci, who died last year. â€œIt was the loss of a legend. It was tough for us, but weâ€™ll get through it,â€ said Butch.
(Butch Martucciâ€™s wife, Tracey Gigliello Martucci, was also honored by the Winthrop School Committee for her 100th victory as the head coach in the Winthrop High girls soccer program. Her Winthrop team finished with a sterling 11-1-1 record this spring. Weâ€™ll chat with the former Winthrop and Salem State University soccer standout for next weekâ€™s edition).