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Kenmore West's Matt Chimera to be inducted into New York State Softball Hall of Fame in 2023

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1012628180 McCoy Sports Kenmnore West Matt Chimera (copy)

Longtime Kenmore West softball coach Matt Chimera celebrates his 400th win in 2019.

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Longtime Kenmore West coach Matt Chimera has been selected to the New York State High School Softball Hall of Fame.

Chimera, who ranks third in Section VI in victories, will be inducted in June.

The 2016-17 New York State Coaches Association Softball Coach of the Year, he was recently inducted into the Western New York Softball Hall of Fame.

He also serves as the president of the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Board of Education.

“Being inducted into the New York State Softball Hall of Fame is a tremendous honor,” Chimera said in a news release. “But it is an honor that I share with my family, and all the great players and coaches that contributed to the success of our program at Kenmore West over the 25 years that I was there.

“I am very grateful to the committee that chose me and very thankful for the tremendous amount of work they do for the hall of fame and softball.”

In his 25 seasons as coach, Chimera led the program to 11 Niagara Frontier League titles, four Section VI title, three Far West Regional victories and a state championship in 2002. His teams won at least 14 games in 19 of his 25 seasons.

Along with winning games, his players were the epitome of being student-athletes, as the program earned multiple New York State Public High School Athletic Association Scholar Athlete Awards for having an academic average of at least 90%.

“A wise coach once said, ‘It ain’t the X’s and O’s, but it’s the Jimmy’s and Joe’s that bring success,’” Chimera said. “We had a lot of talented softball players over the years, but more importantly they were great young women of character. Those young women and their families bought into our program and made it successful.”

For years Chimera became known around the Western New York community for his work on and off the field, and has become respected around the state. 

“The lasting impression I have when I think of Coach Chimera's career is a laser focus on the entirety of a quality program, and what that means. His teams had very high expectations academically and on the field as well,” said Ken-Ton schools athletic director Brett Banker, the former Section VI president. “Along with a lot of winning, Matt's athletes learned about cohesion, commitment to others, group dynamics and especially being a family. It was a program from top to bottom, bottom to top.”

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Sports Reporter

Born and raised in Boston, MA. My experience includes The Boston Globe, The Arizona Republic, The Athletic, The Tennessean, Bleacher Report and NBC Sports Northwest. Open to suggestions and connections: Cmurray@buffnews.com

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