Kevin Mincio is on the longest bike ride of his life right now.
The Mercer Island resident is riding cross country from Santa Rosa, Calif., to the World Trade Center in New York to highlight the efforts of Team Jesse, a foundation he started after his friend, SSG Jesse Williams, was killed in combat in Iraq.
Along the 95-day, 4,200-mile route—a few days ago they passed the 3,000-mile mark—the team is stopping at events and gathering support for Team Jesse.
Mincio and team partner Matt Sauri expect to reach the site of the Twin Towers in time to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Meanwhile, fellow coaches and players from the that Mincio works with are following his journey, which began months ago with vigorous training, says Mercer Island Lacrosse Head Coach, Ian O’Hearn.
“This is the most tired I’ve ever seen him,” since he began coaching Mercer Island Lacrosse players four years ago, O’Hearn says. “He gets up at 5 a.m. to train, works all day, then he’s at practice. It’s been a huge part of his life this past year.”
O’Hearn says Mincio is a valued coach, and credits his strength and conditioning work with the team for its success. The team recently won the state championship, and is ranked 24th in the country, despite the fact that lacrosse programs on the east coast are more developed.
John Harrison, the principal at , says Mincio is a “MIHS lacrosse coach, an Island resident, a patriot and a great guy.”
Mincio, who works at Watermark Estate Management Services in Kirkland, is a person whose life was truly altered by the events of Sept. 11. He was 31 and a vice president at Goldman Sachs, working in a building across from the Twin Towers, at the time of the attack.
He was inspired to join the army, where he served a tour in Iraq with Williams.
Back when Mincio and Williams were serving together, before Williams returned to Iraq for a second tour, Mincio promised to look after Williams’ daughter’s well-being if anything should happen to him, O’Hearn says. Williams was killed in Baqubah, Iraq, on April 8, 2007. Now, the Team Jesse Foundation , founded by Mincio and Matt Corry, has a mission to help families of fallen soldiers with support and education in Williams’ honor.
The team is being followed by a documentary film crew and is garnering media attention everywhere they go (at this writing the team was in Lebanon, VA), but O’Hearn says Mincio’s only concern is to raise awareness and support for the foundation and to honor his fallen friend’s memory.
“He’s also probably one of the most humble people I’ve met,” O’Hearn says.
--To follow along Mincio and Sauri’s route, follow this link