This included a battle early in his career as a softball coach at Iroquois. Whenever the weather required the team to train indoors, softball had to use the smaller college gymnasium while baseball used the larger high school gymnasium. Tonsoline, with the help of then-athletic director Jim Knowles, put an end to this.
Tonsoline’s goal has always been to make sure that girls get as much of their athletic experience in high school as possible. Fair treatment is one of them.
“Pete is a trailblazer,” said Mary Borden, longtime Akron field hockey coach. “He was one of the first to recognize the shortcomings and fought hard to elevate the status of girls in athletics. He fought fiercely.
Keith McShea, who covered high school sports at The News from 1999 to 2014 and dealt regularly with Tonsoline, said, “He’s become a champion in women’s sports. He was an excellent coach not only on the field where his teams often met in the league, but also devoted countless hours to promoting and publicizing these sports.
Tonsoline is perhaps best known for his work in field hockey, although he has also coached boys and girls in ice hockey, softball, soccer, and women’s lacrosse. He has coached field hockey, ice hockey and softball for 120 combined seasons (49 in ice hockey, 37 in field hockey and 34 in softball). He is one of the coaches of the Lancaster / Iroquois / Depew women’s hockey program.