‘Faith, Family, Finish’: Caldwell’s Teshkoyan keeps low profile on victory #600

His team had just won a 15-0 game against Snyder of Jersey City in the first round of the NJSIAA tournament, but to see Caldwell coach Mike Teshkoyan afterward, it was business as usual.

This wasn’t a typical win, however. It was a milestone, the 600th win in Teshkoyan’s tremendous career as CHS softball coach.

But it was also Caldwell’s Senior Day, and Teshkoyan was quick to note that.

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Mike Teshkoyan addresses his team after a win in the NJSIAA tourney on May 15. Teshkoyan won his 600th game as head coach at Caldwell.

“You can write about it,” he said with a smile. “But this is about our kids, especially the seniors. I don’t want to say anything.”

In the world of Twitter, a few of Teshkoyan’s players had read the tweets coming out on the milestone win, especially junior pitcher Cayla Lombardi.

“Guys, guys,” she shouted to her teammates, who were beginning to head to their cars. “Coach Mike and Mark just won their 600th!”

Lombardi’s announcement brought most of the team scurrying back to say congrats to their coach. While Mike Teshkoyan is the head coach, his brother, Mark, has been a big asset to the program since 1987, when Mike was named head coach after serving as an assistant for five previous years.

“I didn’t want the kids to know before hand,” Teshkoyan, himself a CHS grad, said. “I’m proud of this, because it speaks of the great kids we’ve had here over the years. But I didn’t want them to be pressing for it.”

Teshkoyan became just the fifth high school softball coach in New Jersey history to reach 600 wins, joining Pete Fick, Tom Erbig, Ed Levens and Don Panzarella.

Teshkoyan is Esesx County’s all time wins leader, too. He passed Carl Corino of Belleville, who had 507, a few years back.

Teshkoyan has also enjoyed a tremendous career as Caldwell’s girls soccer coach, too, amassing over 329 wins.

“Mark and I have always tried to put together a family-first atmosphere here,” said Mike. “It goes a long way in building relationships with the parents and for the kids to buy into what we’re trying to accomplish here.”

Lombardi concurred.

“Faith, family, finish,” she said, in talking about Mike and Mark. “Pride and poise, too.

“Coaches Mike and Mark always tell us how they care more about us as people, and they always have our best interest at heart. They always remind us that they care. They tell us to stay poised and to believe in ourselves. It means a great deal.”

Teshkoyan was moved when told of Lombardi’s comments.

“Faith, family and finish, that’s our motto,” Teshkoyan said. “It means even more when a great kid like Cayla says that. This is what makes coaching so special.”

Teshkoyan will lead Caldwell into the Essex County Tournament semifinals with a career rcord of 600-166-2. Caldwell has won a record 10 ECT championships and Teshkoyan has been at the helm for eight of those titles, again a record for most championship by a coach in ECT history. His teams won ECT championships in his first two years as coach, in 1987 and 1988.

He’s also guided Caldwell to numerous conference titles. The program last won a state sectional crown in 2011.

Among the twitter congratulations was one from SEC rival Mount St. Dominic, who Caldwell will play in the ECT semifinals, either on May 16, or 18, depending on the weather.

“Congratulations to Caldwell Coach Mike and Mark as Mike won his 600th game today,” the tweet from MSDA read.

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By mike051893

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