St. Joseph by-the-Sea girls’ soccer coach and 9/11 first responder Carmine Cantalino dies at age 61

Sea coach Carmine Cantalino during the 2015 season (Staten Island Advance/Hilton Flores)

Carmine Cantalino, beloved St. Joseph by-the-Sea girls’ soccer coach and 9/11 first responder who was known for his fiery coaching style and passion for the game, has died.

The retired NYPD captain died Friday awaiting a lung transplant after a battle with pulmonary fibrosis, a 9/11 related illness. He was 61 years old. 

“He was a wonderful coach and a great motivator. The girls and myself were deeply affected when we heard he had passed,” said Vikings assistant coach Tara Ferraiuolo, who has taken over the reigns in his absence.

“He was with us for a few practices in the beginning of the season and we have played every game for him since. We will continue to dedicate this season to him by wearing white tape above our hearts with his initials, and we’ll honor his memory in every way we can.”

In Cantalino’s two years as Sea’s coach, he was 20-6-4, including the Island regular-season championship last season.

He also had a profound effect on the people he coached against.

“We always knew that we had to bring our A game when we were coaching against Carmine. He made us all better coaches,” said Notre Dame Academy coach Nick Senise. “We worked together for many years as coaches for SI United and I’ve seen his teams have achieve success on many different levels. He definitely had a loud coaching style and there was never a quiet sideline, but that’s just because he was so passionate. His players fed off that energy and were better off for having him.” 

Sea’s athletic director and close friend of Cantalino, Rich Bruno, says he will be remembered not only as a great coach, but also as a great person. 

“I have known Carmine for 10 years, since was my son’s travel soccer coach and I became his team manager. He afforded impoverished children the chance to play travel soccer for free and waived his own fees for many disadvantaged youth. It was an honor and…

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