HHS Football 2020
In the sh*tshow year that is 2020, why shouldn't high school football results be bizarrre?
HHS loses to Kittatinny by 21...
Kittatinny loses to Lenape Valley by 28...
Lenape Valley loses to HHS by 21.
Can't wait until New Year's... I want to get off the ride.
congrats to the HHS Tigers for working hard!
Ianimal, that's a glass is half full post. 2020? What I see is Kittatinny won, Lenape won, HHS won :)
HHS plays @ Lenape Valley tomorrow night 10/16.
I hope your prediction is right!
LOL, thanks Barnacle Bill. I absolutely misread the story linked below. It mentioned winning 28-7 in the same sentence as Lenape Valley and my brain skipped over all the words in between.
I hope the prediction does turn out to be true, but it definitely sounds like a long shot...
This year has been awful. At least they are playing. Spring sports got screwed over. High school sports don't get to make up a year of eligibility like college does.
The problem with HHS Football is that in the K through 8th grade town league you have a bunch of Daddies running the show and trying to live their life dream through their kids. They don't recognize real talent, they just make sure their kids get the ball and run the show. So the kids with real talent get discouraged and drop out of Football and switch to other sports. Then when they get to HHS for Football the good kids are gone and all that's left are the Daddy kids and they just are not that good now that Daddy isn't running the show. That's from a Dad whos kid loved Football until he was not used, and now is a stud in the XC world!
Didn't the HHS football team make it to the Sectional Finals a few years back? I don't know if your observation is really valid FormerFootballDad, unless those kids didn't participate in the K through 8th grade program.
The kids with real talent are being recruited by the Clemsons and Alabamas of the world, as early as eighth grade.
Hackettstown has done pretty well over the years (in the current millennium) considering they have not had any "blue chip" athletes who the football factories are drooling to sign. They play with grit and hustle, and sometimes the seniors really play smart. Whenever a Tiger gets into a top notch academic school, I consider that a win.
FormerFootballDad kids are better off picking one sport and focusing on it. My son stopped playing fall and winter sports after 8th grade. He played baseball year round after that and had legendary seasons at HHS setting the single season HR record with 10 and 16 in 2 Varsity season, then moved on to CCM and broke the single season HR record his sophomore year with 18, earning a 2nd team All American nod and serious consideration from one MLB club. That performance earned a D1 scholarship that pays for over 3/4 of his college bill his last 2 years. So maybe it's better your son does XC. It might earn him some scholarship money.
Lots of football kids who are "normal sized" discover lacrosse and get scholarships playing that. There's lots of college lacrosse on TV these days, it's become a money maker.
More scholarship money is awarded for academic achievement than athletic.
Good point ... we can't forget these kids are students first and foremost. It is possible to be both a good student and good ballplayer, with good time management, but the academics come first and responsible coaches (who also win) know that :)
Jim Klng depends on the sport. I'm sure plenty of football and basketball players get full rides.
Mets. Way more full rides for scholarship.
And most kids get a small scholarship or nothing and are stuck with a lot of debt after graduation. If you can get a large chunk paid for by whatever means, it's a good thing.
I had a scholarship plus work study (stuff like cleaning the pool and locker facilities after the guys had gone back to the dorms) ... also served breakfast and lunches at the cafeteria from time to time ... the work study kept me out of trouble, too busy to do the kind of partying that gets a lot of college jocks into trouble.
Going to community college and then getting this pretty much covered my college tuition and expenses .. so glad God gave me the ability to put a round ball through a round hoop. Went to grad school with the money I saved :)
Did Hackettstown win last night?
What has happened to Hackettstown HS football?
A state sectional final game several years ago and now 0-8 this year.
From what I understand not only are less players coming out for football these days, but also Seniors on the team graduated and there are lots of players that aren't quite as seasoned or developed playing now. They'll come along I'm sure. Hopatcong had the same thing happen 5 or more years ago and lost one or more all stars. The next year's team struggled to become a cohesive unit and find out how to work best with one another. I'm sure they'll overcome.
You are correct about less kids participating in organized football not only at the high school level but at the grade school level also. Some high schools do not have a Freshman Team anymore because of school budgets and or lack of student participation. All Varsity level athletics need a strong feeder and developmental program to grow in order to compete with other teams.
More and more kids are going out for soccer or just choosing not to play any sports at all. In my opinion kids need to be encouraged at Home by their parents and guardians to be active and participate in organized sports at the recreation and high school levels
The HHS Tigers have been fighting all season with a young team that has been hit with injuries. Growing Pains for sure
Lets Go Tigers!
Hotdog is correct. They have had a lot of key injuries this season but coach still has them playing hard. It's tough to be successful with only 4 Seniors They have a pretty talented Junior class so next season should be much better if they stay healthy.
Correct. Even though the HS athletic director, the football booster club and the youth football program all did not recommend the coach be fired, the Superintendent and BOE decided to fire him Wednesday night at the BOE meeting during executive session. An executive session that the Athletic Director was not allow to attend. I guess the BOE thinks they know better than the Athletic director, players and parents. hmmm. Well they will have a lot of people in attendance at their next meeting to voice their disapproval of this decision
Maybe some parents are paying attention to CTE, and more sports options are available.
Heard they wanted to go in another direction. As superintendent making all the $$$, why can’t Mango at the next board meeting explain his answer. I think it’s only fair to the people in town. You are going to lose him and his wife who I heard are two of the best teachers we have. That means our school is going to take a huge hit as well. All for what? No loyalty and is it coming down to certain number of wins to keep your job?
Unless he was doing something completely off base, this is ridiculous. HHS can't recruit like college. You are stuck with the talent you have.
What an absolute disgrace! Mango and the weasels on the BOE should be ashamed of themselves for getting rid of this man. They have no idea the influence he has on these kid's lives both on and off the field. None of these kids will play in the NFL or D1 College but the life lessons they learn from Coach Robinson will last a lifetime. Just a few years ago he took the team to the state championship so he obviously knows how to coach. And to blindside him like this in a secret meeting without even speaking to the players and parents is the epitome of classlessness!
If the residents of Hackettstown were allowed to hold a secret vote to fire Mango, he would be gone in a heartbeat! Shame on you Mango and the BOE!
I have a lot of respect for Coach Robinson. Several years ago, a football player made an unkind comment about the band. He made the player go into the band room and apologize to the entire band. He is a stand-up guy. Some things are more important than wins/losses.
A moment to respond to some of these concerns, strictly as a parent and fan and in no way the views of anyone but myself:
Jim L. - Little League Football input has no bearing on district personnel decisions, nor does the district have any input on LL decisions nor dissolution and reformation of a previously stable LL program. There was no snap decision by anyone; it was an overall review of job performance over a 9-year period of this specific task that dictated this move. The Athletic Director’s position was well known and widely circulated among the BOE and carefully considered, as well as the program's 9-year win-loss record and the steady erosion of player retention year over year. Despite all our mutual regard for Coach Robinson as a person and as an educator, I have not personally heard a word of dissent on this decision from parents, current players, or recent grads, and I know the last 8 years of HHS football alumni and parents fairly well. As for attendance at the BOE meeting, it is always encouraged and is the proper venue to address these concerns as opposed to this forum.
Concerned -Please attend the next BOE meeting and ask any questions of the administration or BOE you want regarding this decision. If your queries are not entertained or answered then you can come on here and say you were stonewalled. Have you contacted anyone involved? Were you not answered or are you postulating?
Alla – so the takeaway is the athletes in this district could not field a competitive team (except 1 year) while every district that borders ours, i.e. West Morris, Mt Olive, Newton, Warren Hills, Belvidere, can field competitive squads and Hackettstown can’t? So, our gene pool is inferior? The inference here is that it’s the kids’ fault, not the coach.
#FireMango – My name is attached at the bottom of this response. Feel free to contact me anytime as I welcome your input and would look forward to discussing this further with you. At the very least come to a BOE meeting and express your thoughts to the group as a whole. As for CJ, who I probably know better than anyone in this thread, he is a person of great character, a well-loved and respected guy by his students and peers, and a good man who I would and have entrusted with my own children. Anyone who wants to question his character needs to go through me first. To be clear, Executive Session is not a secret meeting, and topics discussed are very narrowly defined and monitored by council as the BOE never discusses personnel or student matters in public - it is not allowed by statute. As for this difficult decision, the team has won 3 games in as many seasons. The Seniors that just finished got to shake hands 3 times as victors of HS games in their entire careers. The program has had 1 successful season in the past 9. How do we change that? Get new kids? If you were the employer entrusted with the well-being and ongoing sustainability of the athletic program, what would be the proper response to that yearly review?
Henry – I agree with every positive thing you said about CJ. But part of the overall success of a coach lies not in simply winning but building and maintaining a program that can be competitive more often than not. Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t work out regardless of the high esteem we all hold for this Coach and the across-the-board acknowledgment of the hard work and dedication he has put into the program.
Again, these thoughts are mine as a parent, fan, alumni, and community member and do not represent any other person or body.
The questions are:
What values are the coach instilling in his players?
What kind of young men are exiting his program?
Scores and record are secondary indicators.
This is HS football, not the SEC.
Thankfully football is dying in this country. Kids are wising up to all the injuries. Maybe they want to walk and feed themselves in their 40’s. Also I heard almost no seniors played on this team as they wouldn’t play for this coach. I saw all the games they were atrocious. Horrible play calling we looked so remedial compared to other teams. Also undersized as we had no seniors.
What was so atrocious? What was so bad about the play calling? So if we had seniors on the field we would look so much bigger and better? I bet if every kid was in full pads with the helmet on you couldn't tell me who was a senior or not. I watched the last game of the year and those kids were battling till the very end. You don't think that's a great job to keep an 0-8 team up for a game? We lost a great role model for our kids both in the classroom and on the field. For what? This was the worst decision I've ever seen made here for athletics and will now set the program back some years. I hope it pleases that one parent that wanted him out. Good luck with that!
@Concerned- He was let go as a teacher as well? You mention in the classroom.
And Shawn- it certainly is not the players fault they are who they are. Historically HHS doesn't have D1 and even D2 football players- maybe it is the gene pool...who knows....Regardless if they are putting in the effort, playing tough, and having fun then the coach has done his job. This is a small town high school...should be focusing on making good people.
"@Concerned- He was let go as a teacher as well? You mention in the classroom."
He was not let go as a teacher, but he will probably leave the district to go find another coaching position meaning not only have we lost a great coach, the district will lose a great teacher.
"Jim L. - Little League Football input has no bearing on district personnel decisions, nor does the district have any input on LL decisions nor dissolution and reformation of a previously stable LL program."
First, it's nice that you left out the AD and the Booster club. And Shawn I am sorry you feel that way. The youth program is the feeder program for the HS and worked closely with Coach Robinson to build football in the town. We are also taxpayers and parents of current and future HS students. If all you are looking at is win/loss record then you are doing the town and the students a disservice. You mentioned you haven't heard of any dissent on this decision from parents, current players, or recent grads, well that is because you were not at the meeting Coach Robinson had with the parents/players to announce YOUR decision. I have a pretty good feeling you will hear from them at the next board meeting
Maybe the BOE and super looked at this from a financial standpoint.
Years ago football was the money make to support itself and any other sport that the school offered. It was and maybe still is the most expensive sport that HHS has. The only sport that I think may be more costly would be fencing.
With attendance down at football games, and I'm only speculating that is happening, maybe the revenue isn't coming in to help support the other sports. Basketball and wrestling bring in revenue. As for fencing, I had 3 sons in the program years ago. Most fencers end up buying their own equipment once they find out that they enjoy the sport and their booster club did supply them with costly equipment through fund raising. I can only imagine the comments on here if the other sports had to go away as their were no funds for them.
This is just my thoughts on why this decision was made but only the people who made it really know why.
Did covid impact Tiger Football Club (feeder program)? Was football offered to the young kids in 2020?
That had to have an impact this year. Seems like strange timing for dismissing the coach.
Just curious - as I saw the comment about 1 successful season in the past 9 -- I guess I am asking what is considered a successful season for this program. Did a little research to see if this was true. Since 1974 --> 2 finals appearances (one was with Coach Robinson) and 5 total playoff wins (2 of these were with Coach Robinson). As far as individual years over these 9 seasons ... 2014 --> 4-5 record. 2015 made playoffs. 2016 made playoffs. 2017 - made Finals. 2018 -->4-5 record. Not sure how the decision could be based on the last two seasons since the kids had zero opportunity for an offseason and offseason lifting with the weight room closed.
Shawn Burke Sr,
Were you on the executive committee in this decision? If you were and played a role in this idiotic decision, why don’t you at the next board meeting give us your best reason for your choice. Did you guys check with athletic director? No! I heard he was Mr. Grauso’s choice 100%. Why wouldn’t we ask the athletic director who is in charge of sports. Shady and the fix was in that’s why.
Like I said Burke-stand up at the next board meeting and explain to the town that you represent how you made this HUGE choice.
And Alla, he will leave just out of frustration and his wife might as well. They got rid of a great leader and role model for our kids. Sad
It's pretty obvious to see what happened here. Mr. Burke has been trying to get CJ fired for several years and this year he was finally able to convince Mango and his cronies on the board to listen to him. To do it 2 weeks before Christmas was also a classless move.
Newsflash ... This is not the 80's anymore. Hackettstown has changed and is not a Football school anymore. They are a soccer school like Dover. Also not CJ's fault that he only had 4 seniors this year, tons of key players injured, and had to deal w/ COVID for the last 2 years, all of which he did an amazing job at handling.
Good luck to the new coach because if you think this year's team was bad, just wait until you see what's up and coming after this group of Senior's graduate. You could hire Bill Belichick and it wouldn't matter.
I hope CJ does not leave the district, but I wouldn't blame him if he did, but I guess wins and losses are more important than having a man who loves this community and is an outstanding role model for our children.
If Mr Burke would have show his face at the meeting last week, he would have seen that the AD, parents, players, ex-players, and other coaches were all strongly opposed to this.
Hi Nate the Great. Just to let you know I am not a crony. I am very capable of making my
own decisions. At the last BOE meeting I did step down from the Board due to family obligations. Just to let you know there will be an open position on the Board. Maybe you should think about applying. Then you can see how the Board truly operates.
A few final thoughts on this matter for this forum, strictly as a parent and fan and in no way the views of anyone but myself:
Jim L – The AD input was well known and given full consideration. I have never been to a Booster club meeting for any activity at any level, and while their work is always very much appreciated, I know of no circumstance in any sport or activity where the district would seek their guidance on personnel matters, and quite frankly they could not by statute. As for dissent, I can only talk about what has been said to me, and the only negative reaction I have seen or heard is on this forum. As I stated earlier, no one at any level has ever questioned CJ’s character, effort, sacrifice, or commitment to his team, and if they did, I would be first in line in his defense.
citrusfire – A successful season could reasonably be classified as a record over .500, of which there has been only 1. To compare playoff appearances, you would have to consider that there were originally only 4 spots per group/section. There were teams that had decent records back then that didn’t get in the playoffs. Also, there were consolation games that were played that had no path to play into a championship. As for the last 2 seasons, did not every school in NJ play under the same COVID conditions? For reference, here is the 9-year record, as well as an adjusted record taking out the best and worst seasons, and another taking out this past winless season:
Hackettstown Football 2013-Present
Overall Record Adjusted Record Adjusted Record
W L PCT W L PCT W L PCT
2021 0 9 0.000 - -
2020 1 4 0.200 1 4 0.200 1 4 0.200
2019 2 6 0.250 2 6 0.250 2 6 0.250
2018 4 5 0.444 4 5 0.444 4 5 0.444
2017 8 4 0.667 - 8 4 0.667
2016 3 5 0.375 3 5 0.375 3 5 0.375
2015 4 6 0.400 4 6 0.400 4 6 0.400
2014 4 5 0.444 4 5 0.444 4 5 0.444
2013 1 8 0.111 1 8 0.111 1 8 0.111
Totals 27 52 0.342 19 39 0.328 27 43 0.386
9 yr Avg 3 6 0.342 3 6 0.328 3 5 0.386
It doesn't post properly, but it shows an average of 3 wins/season in each case.
Concerned – There was no “executive committee”. In executive session, the Superintendent presents situations to the board as a whole. The Athletic Directors recommendation was well known by all. Come to the next BOE meeting and ask me any question and I will give you a straight answer. Better yet, my home phone, address, and email are all public knowledge. I welcome your input and look forward to speaking with you.
Nate the Great – Not sure why you feel I have that kind of sway over the administration and the BOE, but I can assure you I do not. In actuality, I’ve been nominated for BOE President twice and did not win. I have no idea whether you and I have ever had a conversation regarding football as you are using a nom de plume. If we did, please detail for me what our conversation was about. I was on the SAC that hired him and fully supported his hire. He has been great to my kids and he and I have had numerous interactions over the years, all positive. No one wants CJ to leave the district as he is greatly admired by the administration, his peers, and me. As for you running down the kids on the team as” bad”, you are out of line and owe them all an apology. As for showing my face, I have been at every football game for at least the last 10 years, every track meet, every wrestling match. Come to any BOE meeting, or as I offered above, my home phone, address, and email are all public knowledge. I welcome your input and look forward to speaking with you.
I further welcome anyone on this forum to contact me directly going forward and I will be happy to discuss your concerns at length.
Again, these thoughts are mine as a parent, fan, alumni, and community member and do not represent any other person or body.
Sincere Best wishes to all for a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Shawn Burke Sr,
Were you allowed to sit in on those meetings? And did you have a say at these meetings? Seems to me if you have a son in the program you should've been left out. Conflict of Interest.
It all comes back to one thing, as a board step up the next meeting and give us ONE ANSWER why you did this move and how this will help our kids. That's it Burke. I don't care about phone numbers/names/addresses, just tell the community why this choice was made. In order to make a big choice like this I'm sure you had overwhelming facts as to why this is a great move. Bet ya can't
THE COMMUNITY WANTS AN ANSWER
Shawn Burke Sr,
Please don’t say winning percentages played a part in this choice. Because then Mr. Burke YOU have to do that with all sports. I know a lot of teams here at the High school that haven’t won in years. SAME coaches still coaching. How many times were they raked over the coals like Coach Robinson.
Or is this a personal attack on the coach for not running some offense someone else wants.
How bout this one Burke, What was the AD’s choice? Seeing how he sees the teams everyday. Heard it was a great evaluation.
For you guys making this decision I have NO faith in this board. Didn’t realize Hackettstown was on Bergen Catholic level.
I HOPE you have something more than winning percentage.
Burke, set up a board meeting with all the head coaches then explain how many wins they need here to survive. Winning is everything here I guess. So sad
I'm pretty sure that before my son's senior year in High School about 5 years ago they were trying to fire him. Then the guy takes his team to a championship a year later, you'd think that would buy him more than 4 more seasons... Talk about impatient... You should probably be asking a question. How many really good players go to private schools to play? That may be your answer for why the teams are mediocre. I know for baseball when my son played, there were 3 really good players that went to private school. Those teams could have went to sectional finals or beyond every year if those players stayed in town and played.
To echo a couple of the comments above, the talent goes private. All you have to do to verify is look at the season ending "Best of's"....Private schools, private players, predominate. As far as winning goes, that is primarily everyone's focus. I had two children in several sports about a decade or so back. Whatever lip service was publicly voiced on what's best for the kids, winning was always the predominate interest of fans, coaches, and players. Without strong rec, clubs, and other 'feeder programs', there will be no strong HS teams, in any sport. More emphasis should be given to attracting, and , more importantly, training youth sport coaches to keep kids first, and winning down the list, a bit far down the list. thank you,
Did anyone do any research to see if there is a correlation between the success of the feeder program and how the team performs at the high school ? I would be shocked if there wasn’t. How do you expect the coach to be successful when there is no history of winning at the lower levels. Especially when the “better” kids leave for greener pastures. Just asking.
Sometimes the feeder programs turn kids off bc most times it is all about winning. There are some who put a lot of stress on the younger kids and it turns them off to the sport. It is a shame.
HTownie - looks like nobody did the research you were looking for. lol Seems like this thread cooled off in the last week but if somebody did know it would be nice to know how many of the 8th grade teams had a winning record in the past 9 seasons. I did hear that only 1 of the 8th grade teams had a record with more than 2 wins in the past 9 years but not sure if this is true.
Hackettstown HS is both a "small school" and also a "soccer school". I
If you are delusional enough to believe that even Bob Stem himself could turn HHS into a perennial football powerhouse, to such a degree that you would run an exceptional character-builder out of town to further your opium-induced fantasies... there's not much anyone can do for you.
My freshman season our varsity went 1-9.
Next season went 8-2 and lost in the first round of playoffs.
After bringing in a new head coach that implemented the University of Maryland's Bigger Strong Faster weight training program. Also if you didn't show up to the weight room 3 times a week in the off season you were most likely not starting. You were excused for playing another sport.
Our feeder programs in a sense played each other with a few out of district teams. Our district was made up of 9 towns. Those programs were either a bunch of dads coaching or more successful programs were former big names in high school and college ball.
You have to create a we want to win culture. Our booster club literally went out and bought a new weight room when that coach was hired in December and the weight room opened in January in the basement an old church. They paid the rent too for 4 years.
Our town put its money in professional field. Can’t tell you how many away games were played on lesser fields as we had our heads handed to us on those fields. There’s just no way with such a small student body and less and less interest in the sport in each passing year.
Why not direct the funds and focus over to Lacrosse?
I see a ton of children of all ages working at it at the Field of Dreams.
Less costly. (Equipment)
Less serious injury exposure (neck)
Uses same field.
Can play virtually all year round ( winter- box inside or shovel off tennis courts)
Good core of kids can really compete with anyone.
Lots of scholarship opportunity availability in DIV 1&2, special financing for Div 3.
1 winning season in 9 years...nothing else needs to be said. Program numbers are down because they don't win!! No one wants to play for a perennial loser. Sure the guy may be a good role model but someone that has the ability to do be a role model and win and build the program are what is needed.
That being said..H'town has passed over great candidates every time the position is open. Just a weird place that wants to be good but isn't really willing to do what it takes to be good.
Regardless of who comes in to coach, HHS will never be a football powerhouse. Focus money on soccer and basketball. Bball coach is doing the right thing reaching out to the community, promoting camps for younger kids etc.
You're what's wrong with sports these days. The way you see things is comical and you would fit in with this board we have. WIN WIN WIN that's what it's all about-that's great!!!
Since when is winning or success such an evil word. Prepare, work and earn your spot to have fun?? Whether it’s in sports or life, you put work in to win. These are real lessons to learn, among others. Stop saying that the results are not important. Cheapskates never said it was the only thing that mattered. That would be ridiculous. It would also be ridiculous to say that it doesn’t matter.
Winning is a habit. Learned over time and earned. Unfortunately so is losing.
Maybe it’s a numbers thing?
836 students in 4 grades
418 males (approx)
Is that a large enough talent pool to field 2 complete, competitive teams?
35/40 per team.
70-80 athletes total.
Need 20% (+-) of male students to dedicate themselves to football.
Not band, not soccer- football.
MAYBE field teams.
But fielding top rung teams?
Sounds like a heavy lift.
This is almost the same issue with cheerleading. Low low numbers. Especially when trying to outfit a competitive team. It’s the same 20 girls and they struggle to keep those 20. They recently invited Roxbury. 45 girls just for varsity. Having gone to Roxbury myself a big difference in student body. We have over 450 in my senior class. Hackettstown is ripe for consolidation as are a lot of NJ schools. Need to stop with the duplication of services. I also think today football is a dying game. If people didn’t gamble they’re savings away on the NFL it would have died years ago. The product they put on the field along with the criminals that play the game is appalling. But hey it fuels the sports book and fantasy leagues.
Why would anyone want to practice their hearts out like our kids do, to go and lose? This makes no sense to me. You play sports to WIN.
“If it doesn’t matter who wins or loses, then why do they keep score?” - Vince Lombardi
It may hurt for some people to hear this, but the reality is that Rec sports are for the kids that "just want to play". But HS football (sports) are not Rec sports. These kids put in a lot of time and I am sure that the are not putting in all that work to lose. If you instill a WIN attitude in everything they do, I am sure that will carry on to other aspects of athletes lives.
Driving over Schooley’s Mt Road late summer into fall I see children of all ages practicing football drills and sharpening skills late afternoon until dusk.
Broken down into all age groups.
Does Hackettstown or area feeding communities have similar programs?
And regarding losing.
I’m from out of state.
Played multiple sports in H.S.
Great football program.
Very good wrestling program
Extremely crappy lacrosse program.
Butts kicked all the time.
But a handful of us (lax) players went on to nationally ranked college programs.
Paid for a great deal of our college expenses.
A lot to be said for competing- win OR lose.
Both male and female.
Actually, you and people like you are the problem. You have low standards and low expectations. It's not all about winning, but as another poster said, then why keep score?
Why keep records if winning isn't important?
Why field a team? Less and less kids are coming out, why....because they lose....over and over and over. If you were a boss and your employee performed at below 50% 8 out of 9 years....would you keep them? More over how would you market your product?
"Our product is trash...but we are really nice to our people". Seems like a ringing endorsement.
There are plenty of people that coach and develop their players into strong valuable members of their communities. Coaches that teach and model the values of hardwork, dedication and commitment and not settling for anything less...and they win while doing that. I'll say just look up the road at Kevin Hennelly. Great role model...wins..year in and year out. Numbers in the program stay consistent.
Concerned, you are the person that supports participation trophies. My view isn't comical, my view is let's hold people to high expectations and challenge them to rise to them, not drop expectations to meet the level of the unmotivated, the noncompetitive. What world are you preparing your kids to live in? You keep the bar low..good luck. You go in your backroom and shine that trophy for being part of a team that sucked year in and year out. I'll keep my expectations high, and I'll keep winning the right way. I'll shine my championship trophy or look at the empty shelf space where the winning trophy should be and find a way to motivate to get that trophy.
Robinson is a great guy no doubt, but it's a competitive business, winning and losing matter. He wasn't winning and a change had to happen...and that is ok sometimes.
yep...round and round we go....since this has been centered on football, I will continue. I note that not much has been said relative to "Stymie"s post which is accurate as it relates to DATA. On the overall culture of HS sports, it has changed in the last few years. Club teams have largely taken over every sport but football. College coaches follow the club tourney circuit. All you have to do is look at the year end ratings to see that the "talent" has gone private for the most part. Another issue for the "win" culture people: HS sports involves kids...yep kids...not your employees striving to keep a job or "advance". Kids as young as 14 getting yelled at by grown men who in some cases have little or no actual training similar to what a HS teacher gets in how to motivate kids. ?..what do you need in a HS setting to call anyone's child anything you want without repercussions? A whistle and a clipboard. I coached three sports at a rec level for the better part of a decade, I co-coached another for several years at a club level. I'm not a fan of "participation" trophies beyond a certain age, where, I feel, they do have a place. I am, however, a fan of the old adage "it is not whether you win or lose but how you play the game". If you are motivated at every level (and you have or develop the talent) to "play" the game, if you do not win and have "left it on the field", you did not lose. Thank you....
I just took an update for coaching a specific sport for middle schoolers and they have removed the whistle. Yes the whistle because it is traumatizing. You must get the attention of most of the group practicing by talking. Instead of telling them they ran a play wrong or are doing something wrong you are to asked them to demonstrate what they did and ask them to demonstrate the correct way. If they don't get it you can't removed them but hope they see another player doing it right and they then pick up on it.
Also yelling at them during a game is equally traumatic. You should use hand signals and let them on the field yell out the play. But not one person because that would show imbalance in the equality of the team. No more captains.
I finished the class and I can't believe what this is coming too.
Anyone that is out there coaching and calling kids names is just a bully and an idiot and has no place mentoring children. The best coaches are good teachers...teachers of competition, teachers of character, teachers of work ethic, teachers of fundamentals, teach kids that to be the best sacrifice is required...coaches need to develop the players mind, body and spirit to achieve a common goal. To be stewards of the team, the school and the community and ultimately to win. Coaches teach teams to win, that is the primary metric by which a coach is measured. How many wins, how many graduates, how many scholarships. That is the nature of football. It has a lot of eyes on it and carries a different level of pressure for athletes and coaches alike.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that has changed and has made subpar performance acceptable...solid high school athletic programs teach kids differently. Having coached I know that it is ok to lose, there are valuble lessons to learn in loss, the difference is that it's not ok to accept losing as the norm.
Your perspective on High school sports is great! WIN WIN WIN settle for nothing less. Losing is unacceptable, WIN WIN WIN. Really you and Burke would be great together on the board. You guys can talk about winning and how winning is everything. Burke likes to produce records of Robinsons teams and talk about how they haven't won in years. We know Burke is not in support of Coach Robinson and maybe we should get Lou Holtz here and he can win one more game a year and solve everyone's hunger for the W.
Annual record since 2003. 3 winning seasons in the last 19 years. Let's not act like CJ took over a powerhouse program and ran it into the ground. People need to realize the reality that HHS hasn't been a powerhouse football program in a very long time.
2003 5-5 Art Piancone
2006 1-9 Tony Villante
2013 1-8 CJ Robinson
the good news is, this year's junior class was very talented and got a lot of playing time which will help them next year. Also, this year's sophomore and freshmen levels both had large numbers and are full of talent so next year should be a successful season regardless of who the coach is.
What a bunch of "snowflakes"!!!!! Losing IS unacceptable, period. Once you start to accept losing you will never win. Losing will become the norm. But it looks like some people on this forum have already accepted losing and are only going to be comfortable if everyone is down at the bottom with them.
Let's not act like CJ took over a powerhouse program and ran it into the ground. - Jim L. No one is saying that he took over a powerhouse. Powerhouses usually don't get rid of their coaches. But that is not the case here. You get rid of a coach to get someone else in that could possible turn your program around and become a powerhouse. My guess is that is how/why this coach got his opportunity 9 years ago.
"My guess is that is how/why this coach got his opportunity 9 years ago"
yea you probably shouldn't guess Skippy. Tony Villante retired. he was not fired.
What an interesting thread to read, especially since I have no dog in this fight.
I'll start with, has Hackettstown ever had sustained success as a football program? When I was living there in the 70s, and they were part of the old DRC, I don't think they were all that great back then either.
Of course, there are a ton of issues here. In the end, given the state of NJ football, you have to develop some sort of scheme that suits the athletes you have *now* - especially for the public schools, because the really good players will suddenly transfer to the Boscos and Bergen Catholics of the world. Remember that Rashan Gary started his high school career at Scotch Plains. Also, as a Group 2 school it's not like you have a huge pool of players either. No idea what the feeders look like these days, and even if they are successful at that level you can't necessarily compare that because I doubt they're playing the same geographic teams at the high school level.
On top of that, sports over all are dying. Can you name *any* sport that hasn't lost participation over the past couple of decades? That limits your pool of players even more.
Then you need to figure out how to motivate the kids you've got. You can't yell? You can't use a whistle? When I played I got yelled at plenty, but that motivated me more because I knew if I did better the yelling would stop. Kind of simple that. As Kenny Pickett noted this year, football is a violent sport that you need to play "with an edge". Kids who can't handle a whistle or yelling, aren't going to have an edge.
What's the solution? Maybe a new coach is the answer. Maybe someone who can better develop whatever talent he has with a scheme that fits the personnel. On the other hand, as fans you really should not expect that they're suddenly going to become a perennial powerhouse.
You obviously struggle to comprehend reading. Go back and re-read.
In the mean time you your participation trophy can go to work with your support stuffed animal. You obviously never played any sort of varsity sport and if you did you were probably a non-contributor. A weak individual....you were a bad back up.
Something has to be done at the lower levels to get these kids to be better. You can't expect a HS coach to turn mediocrity into winning programs.
"I'll start with, has Hackettstown ever had sustained success as a football program?"
When Chot Morrison was the coach, Hackettstown was one of the best football programs in the entire State of New Jersey, winning 15 Sectional championships in 33 years, going undefeated 13 times and once-beaten an additional 10 times with an overall record of 231-48-13.
Unfortunately, he coached his last game sixty years ago...
ianimal.......I believe in the '80s under coach Griffith the teams were quite competitive with many winning seasons and a State Championship, I do believe.
HHS Football was a very good program in the 1980s when Ron Griffith was HC winning only State Championship on the Field in 1981 or 1982 and made the State Playoffs several times. The student athlete numbers were very good at the time with over 40 kids on JV and Varsity.
I would like to know if the next HC will have a good coaching resume in order to turn the program around. Fact of the matter is you need a good feeder program and good players to coach at the high school level. The players need to be coachable and willing take constructive criticism from all of the coaches. Hard Work Pays Off!
Richie, you're right... the 1982 team went undefeated and won a Sectional title as well. That was still FORTY years ago...
Shouldn’t the discussion be more about Hackettstown Academics?
Lower 50% in virtually all meaningful indices.
Go Team (?) Go?
Stymie - thats news to me. What are you looking at?
Stymie - Specifically what sites are you looking at, and what indices?
Something to remember about the class of 1982 - that would have been the final year of "Baby Boomers", so odds are good that since then there are just fewer kids because of birth rates.
As far as academics, it looks like according US News HHS is kind of middle of the road for NJ - 228 out of 408. https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/new-jersey/districts/hackettstown-public-school-district/hackettstown-high-school-12565
Gee Stymie - JJB's stats put HHS in the top 38% of State High Scools. Could be better, but questions your sources.
JJB - what do you think Minnie would say about all this?
Gee Shawn Burke Jr....
Your inability to download school statistics using only an index finger indicates that you are probably a graduate of the esteemed Hackettstown school system.
228/408 = 56%, meaning Hackettstown is ranked higher than 44% of other NJ schools... meaning they're in the lower 50%, like Stymie said.
Not sure where you got the "top 38%" from.
Shawn Burke, Minnie would tell us to run laps!!
I still remember the time he wasn't there, the chimes rang six, we all looked at each other and started running anyway because we knew better.
Unfortunately, I don't think he'd be nearly as successful these days just because he demanded a lot from us.
228 out of 612 is top 38%.
Still waiting on your sources Stymie. Your lack of response speaks volumes.
"As far as academics, it looks like according US News HHS is kind of middle of the road for NJ - 228 out of 408"
and there's the problem. There are not 408 High Schools in NJ. there are 612 public High schools in NJ
so 228 out of 612 is top 38%.
If you want the state report, it's here - https://rc.doe.state.nj.us/school/summary/41/1870/050
Still doesn't look too bad. It also has links to the detailed report so you can slice and dice the data as you like.
If we are just average middle of the pack school, why don't we fire the principal and get someone in here to take us to the next level. We've been middle of the pack for a long time. Why are we settling for avg numbers for school rankings? Make a change Burke. We are making changes in football because of numbers and wins, lets do it with the administration as well.
We all know its's you on this witch-hunt for Coach Robinsons job and you should be ashamed of yourself. I wouldn't even look him in the eyes ever again because he KNOWS. I'm still wondering Burke, have you and Mango set the bar yet on wins in a season for every sport or just football. You've shown your true colors and this board will go down as a bunch of puppet clowns that have no spine. Shame on you all for allowing this to happen with our football program and a great teacher in our school system. My son still comes home and says he's shocked they would let our coach go. What a great way to hurt our kids all the way around.
Did Vince Bear Bryant Saban Jr sign on the dotted line yet? Oh wait, ask any coach worth his weight and he will tell you it’s the Johnny’s and the Joe’s not the X’s and O’s. Unfortunately our youth program has been decimated by daddy ball for years and is going through a transition again. Good luck to the new coach you are going to need it dealing with this train wreck.
Htownie that's exactly it. Football in Hackettstown is daddy ball. My son quit because of it several years ago. He even had to overcome daddy ball with baseball. Thankfully he overcame that crap. Let me know when someone breaks his homerun record... I think he hit more homeruns in 2 years than 4 years worth of teams since he graduated.
Nothing but Al Bundy types living for the glory days. Fair to midland is our motto but at least our field looks good.
The publications that rank NJ high schools use a number in the low 400s as the high school number not 612. They cite their methodologies.
yea you probably shouldn't guess Skippy. Tony Villante retired. he was not fired.
Jim L.Jim L. ✉
5 days ago
I just read that article that you posted. Thanks for that but Villante "STEPPED DOWN". Maybe you should re read that article. Stepping down does not automatically mean he "retired". Sometimes that is just the polite way to bow out gracefully when asked to, or get fired. With a record of 24-46 after seven years, it seems like the same thing that is happening to this current coach, happened to Villante. You come on this forum and pick apart everyone here when they don't agree with what you say but then you go and embellish from an article. (Typical politician)
Once again, thanks for posting the article, Jimmy. It is nice to read the truth instead of you telling everyone what you think is correct.
Dear Concerned –
I appreciate your input and wish we had more of it at our Board meetings. I am again flattered by your impression of my sway amongst the administration and the board. You don’t want to hear it, but I can assure you that the administration and our members are strong individuals with their own minds. And you are right – any program in our school system that is not performing up to standards should be reviewed and addressed.
I look forward to your attendance at our Jan 19 meeting. Please utilize that opportunity to reiterate your views so that the entire community can benefit from your insight and understand our mutual agreement of what a truly good man Coach Robinson is. I know he will greatly appreciate your support, and we surely welcome your feedback.
If you would like, I would absolutely meet with you, privately if you wish, at a time and place of your convenience to discuss whatever is on your mind. Just let me know.
Best regards for health and prosperity in the New Year!
I appreciate the call out Burke and just wanted you to answer some simple questions if you can:
1. I have looked up as well the records of past teams here at the high school and found many programs that have not won anything in years.
WHY HAVEN'T WE ADDRESSED THESE CONCERNS WITH OTHER SPORTS IN THE PAST? WHY JUST FOOTBALL? WHY DID WE NOT BRING IN OTHER COACHES?
Maybe because your kids are in the program and you think bringing another coach before they graduate will lead you to a state title. It's not to bring in a better man to lead this program cause you will not find anybody better.
2. Do you realize we will lose both Robinsons as he will look to coach elsewhere and probably get offered a teaching job. So you will lose them both and our school system now takes a huge hit. My son says they are two of the best teachers in the high school. ALL FOR WHAT? AN EXTRA WIN?
3. LAST AND MOST IMPORTANT
Why did we get rid of one of the best coaches in the high school?
What did he do to deserve this treatment?
THE SAD PART IS BURKE YOU HAVE NO ANSWER TO THESE QUESTIONS
Let's watch you avoid these questions
I hope you can say something else about wins-IT'S NOT ABOUT THAT. RIGHT BURKE?
Welcome back to HLF Stadium folks! We’re here at halftime with “Upset Over Firing” leading “Trying to Justify”, 10-0. . It was an early personal foul on Cheapskates that set up the Upset TD, then some lackluster defense by Shawn Burke that allowed the other score. And Jim L. was seen entering the injury tent and is apparently in concussion protocol. Given Jim L.’s interpretation of stats, it’s no wonder and it has his fans concerned. Troy, do you think Justify is looking at the tape and trying to adjust to that strong Upset passing attack led by Concerned and Stymie…?
Robinson still running that 1920s offense? If so he should be gone. Kids want to play in a dynamic modern day offense. Who would want to play WR if they know the ball is going to be throw to them only 2xs a game? Who would want to play QB? And if you want to play college football as a skilled position player why would you play under this system?
We have brought up other sports in the past and we have made changes. Softball and Cross-country spring to mind. All our kids deserve a chance to be successful. What other sport do you want changed?
CJ is a highly respected teacher and mentor who would be valuable in any school system. But if you think football defines him as a man, then you do not know him at all.
The kids deserve the best we can give them. And again, you are right – The AD should hold every athletic program to a high standard. I have questioned that from my first term on the board and will continue to do so.
Your son is not in little league anymore, quit treating him like a little boy. Treat him with the respect a young man like him deserves and give him a chance to have some success before his athletic career is over. I would think you would want that.
So, can I count on your attendance at the Jan 19th meeting?
See you there.
Concerned won't show up. Appreciate your efforts to move the program in a new direction....a growth mindset is hard for some people to have.
Does anyone else feel that Concerned has a personal beef with Burke? It doesn't sound like Concerned cares about the football program at all, seems to me that all he cares about is attacking Burke.
You are 100% correct Skipper. Concerned never competed is my guess. Concerned wants their child to be pat on the back in all situations. Concerned isn't a competitor. Concerned is more apt for intramural sports, not competitive varsity.
Participation trophy for Concerned if they show up to the Board meeting.
Agree 100 percent Skipper. And Concerned is way off base with his naming His name is Shawn Burke. Not Burke.
What I see happening to Coach Robinson is embarrassing and for the first time I am ashamed to be from Hackettstown. I know the quality leader he is and role model he is to those young men. I have been coaching high school sports for 20 years and certainly never accepted a participation trophy and either has coach Robinson. He wants to win more then anyone. Saying this is not Alabama Football. High school coaching is far more then winning games. It is about building character and make young people better and preparing them for life. That team lost every game and still came out and fought to last whistle. (Not one kid quit) Now that to me is a good coach. Anyone can keep kids motivated when you are 9-0. Give me a coach like that any day over a guy that only cares about Wins. I ask all the parents that support Coach Robinson to attend the next board meeting and voice their concerns.
Notright- admirable post. Now please sign your real name given your level of admiration for our Coach. I look forward to meeting you on Jan 19th.
Shawn- first of all thank you for your service. In your role you can’t make everyone happy, you must do what is right and the best interest of the students and more specifically the players. But what is right? Reading these post it seems the AD (years of experience in high sports supports Coach Robinson). So to me the board is clearly not valuing his opinion. Bit scary but maybe there is some serious issue within the program? Have you ask your son his thoughts on coach? Have you ask fellow football parents their views? Remember these boys are who we care about. Not some 70 year old man who is still living in the chot morrsion days.
I also saw a post about his offense? I didn’t follow the team that went to the state championship game a few years back, but do they run the same offense? If so maybe it’s not system but the talent level?
Again Thank you for your time and hard work, I hope the right decisions are being made in the development of our young men. As the first quality of a high school coach should be building character and not wins and loses.
I am signing off as I feel it's starting to go in another direction. Burke, ya screwed up and ya know it. The whole town knows and believe me EVERYONE knows it was you trying to get rid of him and orchestrating this. You guys didn't even listen to the AD from what I've been told and that's when you know the fix was in. Great job screwing things up again and good luck in your search for Lou Holtz. What a lousy Board to go along with that garbage of getting rid of a great coach because of wins. Nice job guys having a spine! Keep following that mess
If only these passions could be ignited to improve a mediocre (at best) academically performing High School, maybe Hackettstown would be considered a realistic destination for relocating higher income families.
In a small school district where administrators and principals syphon off over ONE MILLION DOLLARS in annual salaries and the property taxes are sky high to support this system, one would think that the residents (patsies) would have bigger fish to fry than the won/lost record of its football team.
Pretty sure these potential new residents consider AP course availability, SAT proficiency scores, graduation rates and the % of graduating students continuing their education post graduation just a tad more important that the winning percentage of the football team.
But, hey, just my opinion.
NotRight --- I did follow the 2017 team. Ran the same exact offense that they ran this year - just may not have looked similar. It may not be fair to compare the two teams because the talent level was much different across the board. 2017 had more size up front and a lot more speed. Both teams had a lot of fight in them. I think it's fair to say that the option offense obviously doesn't excite the fans. I guess they want to see the ball thrown all up and down the field. So the better question might be - when was the last time they had a quarterback who had the ability and accuracy to throw it all over the field. I'm not sure if they have had that talent in the Robinson years? I could be wrong. As far as offenses go - I think you really have to go with one that suits the type of kids you have. In my opinion - if you have smaller lineman and average speed you probably should run a wing t or option style offense - those benefit smaller lineman. Every year there are all different offensive schemes that win the championships in this state so there isn't one style fits all. Maybe it is the coach ? or maybe it really is the talent level but nobody wants to make that hard admission?
Stymie - you still will not cite your sources. What are you afraid of? Stop posting BS you can't support - it impacts your credibility.
Just remember Al Bundy was a shoe salesmen. Loved his football could care less about academics. What we have here is a town of Bundy’s living in the past.
Stymie.....I don't have a dog in this fight but reading all of the posts, this is about football. Maybe you should start a separate post that discusses academics......And if you are going to be so critical you should stop being such a poltroon and state your true name so Mr. Burke can have an adult conversation with a real person.
I heard they made Robinson come in again tonight for an Executive session. If they brought him in AGAIN and did not give him back his job then that was just another idiotic move by the worst board we ever had. Who's bright idea was that? Really, if this is what happened tonight that would be a huge embarrassment for the board. What was the purpose of bringing him back in. To go over the same crap you just did to him. Nothing like running a guy over 3 times with your car.
WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THIS MEETING BURKE IF YOU WEREN"T BRINGING HIM BACK. Interested to see where this goes.
My son is excited that they might give him his job back but with this group I doubt they will make a good decision.
Coach Robinson is still fired and the search for the new head coach has begun. That’s the only update.
I'll laugh if they hire someone the AD doesn't approve of. What's the point of having an AD if you don't listen to him... The BOE must have gotten their athletic decision ability from the former owners of the Mets...
Judging from many of the posts here, I believe the Hackettstown Drama club will be making the pick.
I heard the BOE is waiting until the NFL playoffs are over to interview candidates. They want the best possible pool of candidates.
Great Post!! LOL
I totally agree!!
Another Rant from you! LOL !!!
You have a problem with Mr Burke so why don't you talk to him face to face like a Man instead of being a tough guy behind your computer! I believe he invited you to meet to have a mature adult conversation together. And why don't you get on the BOE so you can Rant to Mr Mango and the entire Board? The worst BOE EVER! That is a Hilarious clueless statement! Peace and Happiness to you and your family
Aren’t you also hiding behind the keyboard Mr. Tough Guy? Just saying. And why don’t you get on the board or are you already? Nice try.
I just want to make sure I am clear about this Coach Robinson was fired for the single fact he didn’t win enough games? The board is sending a message that winning is the end all in high school sports. Not preparing young people for the challenging world we live in? Why would anyone want this job or any coaching job at Hackettstown? I wonder what other coaches at Hackettstown feel about this knowing they need to make winning their priority not the overall development of young people. Maybe it is just me but as a parent of a high school athlete I am concerned for my child. Facts are facts and the board basically said win at all cost or you are fired.
Is it just "didn't win enough games"? Looking at the scores from last year, one maybe two of the games were even competitive, and the three year arc on that isn't very good either. I don't know what H'town's participation numbers are these days, but how many kids want play for a non-competitive program?
Four or five years ago, was a kid from one of the big parochial schools more likely to go "somewhere else", or to Rutgers? (see "Jabril Peppers" and "Rashan Gary") Rutgers fires the coach, brings in someone who instills "hope" in the program and now some those highly touted kids are staying home.
It's more than wins and losses...it's how those wins and losses affect the program as a whole.
While I understand you point with the Rutgers example, it is not a fair comparison. Rutgers gets to recruit and attract players from all across the country. I severely doubt someone is going to up and move their family to Hackettstown because of a high school sports program. A high school coach cannot attract talent - he only gets to use the players that are already here.
One question I’d like to have answered if I may.
How much does Hackettstown actually pay the head football coach?
I did not intend it to be a direct comparison, but an analogy.
If recruited, a kid will go to Rutgers because they *want* to play football for Rutgers. If the program is perceived as not even competitive, odds of that decrease.
A kid will play football for Hackettstown if they *want* to play football for Hackettstown. If the program is perceived as not even competitive, odds of that decrease.
Hiding behind a keyboard? I am not on the BOE and have no desire to be.
I am all for Coach Robinson !! The one individual on here has a Big Problem with Mr Burke and should go and talk to him in person and stop the constant bashing! It's ridiculous! Just like you are attacking me!! LOL
Just take a look at the younger team results from 2021. It's not the HS program that's the problem. They have nothing coming in that's exciting. But hey the BOE think a new HS coach is going to change that. Good luck... LOL...
I get that, but I would say even the analogy is not the best. If a kid in town wants to play football, they will play for HHS because that will be the only way they can play football. I think the reality is that the only kids that would say "this is not a competitive program so I won't play" are probably the marginal players that have no desire to play after high school to begin with and would probably not make much of a difference on the field.
That kid being recruited by Rutgers, however, A) wants to play football, and B) has a choice as to where to play. You don't have that choice where to play at HHS - we can only look at kids that want to play.
Not trying to stir the pot here but why did they bring him down to the board meeting? If they fired him weeks ago - did they bring him down a couple of weeks later to just make sure he knew he was fired ? I’ve seen a lot of positive posts on here about him as a person - what was the whole point of that. Does not winning enough games really merit embarrassing the man - whom I’m sure put his heart and soul into it ? This meeting happened but has there been any news from it? He didn’t ask for that meeting - they asked him to come in. I guess I just understand the point of it.
Depends on how you view it. How often, while watching D1 football game do you hear the announcer make a statement about how said player didn't start playing football until late in high school? Sometimes only one year?
A "successful program" has better odds of having the coach, or friends, recruit a wrestler to be a lineman. I have seen a soccer player, who had never played football before, end up as a placekicker (as an aside, the program won the sectional that year).
For the most part you're right, but I have seen where more successful high school programs are able to bring in kids that hadn't played before.
"This meeting happened but has there been any news from it? He didn’t ask for that meeting - they asked him to come in. I guess I just understand the point of it."
The AD and Coach asked for the executive session, not the BOE. "Concerned" was incorrect in her post. The outcome did not change after that executive session.
"Feeder program needs improvement"
The Feeder program is changing Boards this year and is already making great strides to improve the program.
The coach DID NOT ask for the executive session. That is a fact - you can check on that. He was asked to show up - and asked if he wanted to speak. Need to get the facts correct before posting..............
You are wrong. Coach Robinson and the AD asked for the opportunity to address the Board.
Not sure where you get your "facts", but in this case you are mistaken.
Nothing more pathetic than witnessing adults (?) screw up something for the kids.
Youth program changing boards. What does that mean exactly?
Making great strides to improve. How?
I am curious where you stand on the firing of the coach since you seem to admit that the feeder program was in need of improvements and these are the kids that play for the high school. Again, I repeat. You can make lemonade out of lemons but you can’t turn a history of losing at the lower levels into a successful high school program. That is of course, you are saying that maybe it is the not the kids but the youth coaches who are the reason for the lack of success.
Just figured you would have those damn facts to back up your statement. You threw it out there. Back it up.
I would think any school or towns goal would to have quality role models around their kids. Guess what that was CJ Robinson. What did Hackettstown BOE do they fired him. stop blaming the coach winning is about talent (in public high school). I know this world we life in we need someone to be the scapegoat but this is a fact. These kids are losing a great role model and that is the sad part in the big picture.. A lot of pressure on the next hire because I find it hard to believe you are going to find a better man to mold these young men.
“You threw it out there. Back it up.“
Yea I don’t waste my time with keyboard warriors hiding behind fake names.
Now that you got your wish this team better win a bunch next year. By the way Burke, you will need to hire a whole new staff. So good luck hiring 5 new coaches that the kids are going to love as much as the old ones. You demolished the foundation so this fails you and super be held liable with your jobs. Just a thought Burke
Your vacuous grammar aside, why you lay this at my feet personally is known to you alone.
The day you sign your real name or are actually adult enough to speak to me face to face is the day I will give your opinions any credence. My Email, phone, and home address are all public knowledge, as is my regular attendance at school events and Board Meetings. Come and talk to me anytime and I promise you and anyone reading this that I will hear you out.
Until then you are simply a scared, small person hiding behind a specious nom-de plum.
Otherwise, I sincerely hope that you find a way to pick up the shattered pieces of your life and move on.
I should find it interesting that you expect Mr. Burke to be held accountable based on the results of one of his actions. Going by that logic, you should be an ardent supporter of Robinson being removed as coach, since he has 9 seasons of poor results. Unless, of course, it's not about actual methodical processes, but instead a personal conflict you have with him. Some food for thought.
Does anyone know what happened to the donations that Mary Yudichak took from donors about 5 years ago or so that were supposed to have the donor's name on them and then be installed at Morrison Field? If they are not going through with this, shouldn't Marty return the money?
Sorry, in my previous post I left out that they were supposed to be brick pavers with the donor's name on them.
There’s a prior thread about it stating the donations were refunded.
Thanks Jim, but unfortunately not all donations have been returned yet. I do see though that the booster club can be contacted so that's what I will do. Tried contacting Marty but to no avail.
The Booster had nothing to do with the bricks. You would have to call Marty direct
Addressed on a previous link:
It reads in part:
The board treasurer has received an email from Marty:
As you are aware I tried to rehabilitate Morrison Field Gates, due to many factors including the pandemic and the fundraising restrictions I have decided to cancel the gate project. In addition, last week I began returning all funds deposited via credit cards to the purchaser(s). All checks collected were made out and given to the Hackettstown Football Booster Club in I believe a secondary account.
We have received a list of canceled checks and are in the process of returning the monies for the gate project. We ask that you be patient because this will take some time. We want to reiterate that we had nothing to do with this gate project and thank you for your patience in this matter.
HHS Football Booster Club
HHS Fball Bster Club
Richie - did you pay by check or credit card?
This gate project was cancelled more than 1.5 years ago as stated in the link above. This being said, if anyone thinks they bought a brick and WAS NOT REFUNDED in Aug '20 should reach out to me directly via email, firstname.lastname@example.org
In the email, I need your full first & last name (not a Hackettstown Life fake name), address used when purchasing the brick, and if you bought the brick with a check or via credit card. I will respond within 24 hours and then verify your purchase. Once verified, your money will be returned immediately.
As to records, no one named Ritchie, Richard or anything close to this purchased a brick. I have all the names of all the people that purchased with a credit card, reimbursement check receipts, to include the reimbursement amount, who it went to, on what date, to include a photo of the addressed stamped envelope to where it was sent.
Not one person has asked me or called me about reimbursement or even the status of this project in 1.5 years or August of '20 when the project was cancelled and refunded. Only anonymous posts about here on Hackettstown Life.
I will be looking for your email.
So I see the new coach runs the same offense as the prior coach. What different results are we expecting? I feel the old coach did so much outside of football for our town and community, I hope the new coach represents himself and surrounds himself with as dedicated and good of a staff the prior regime had during his tenure.
Last coach ran the triple option with the QB under center. New coach runs the triple option with QB in shotgun. So yeah - not the "exact" same offense...........
Who is the new coach?
More importantly what’s his salary? I bet he’s paid more than the highest academic teacher. Probably close or more than Mangos double salary.
“I bet he’s paid more than the highest academic teacher. “
Lol yea he’s paid around $10k. This isn’t D1 college where the football coach gets paid millions. Ppl on this site are so dopey
And no citrusfire he’s not full triple option. It’s more of a spread offense with lots of quick passing. Completely different than the last year’s offense
Just curious why you aren't sharing who he is Jim? Is there going to be a formal announcement?
There was a formal announcement and introduction at the BOE meeting and there was an introduction meeting with all the players and parents. Attend meetings and find out information.
Daryle Weiss is the new coach. No secret there. It was on the BOE meeting agenda a few weeks ago.
The learning curve will be flatter for sure as the Qb alignment will be 2 yards further and perhaps different terminology.
If you’re expecting a change it will be the same change Coach from last season would have had if he was not dismissed.
The triple is the triple. The defensive alignment and post snap reads will dictate who receives the ball and where it goes.
I, again, hope the new coach does more for our kids than coach Robinson outside of football. That’s the only way they can justify this change as an administration. CJ was a true gem who did everything the right way and will have success anywhere because of character and integrity. The guy did not win football games. The guy did not also have a weight room for his players due to district policy in response to covid.
Sometimes people need to look at the brutal facts and understand the bigger picture. You bring up a good point, it isn’t division I, but you fire a coach who practices development of young men because he doesn’t win. How has the success and retention of the youth program been in recent years? Are those coaches held accountable for not winning games, teaching kids proper technique, providing an experience that kids associate football with success? No. As a parent, I see volunteer fathers working hard and doing their best. I saw CJ working hard to amend some of the misconceptions taught at the youth level. If high school football is calculus, Coach Robinson was dealt players who understood basic addition and brought the players a long way to compete and perform at the varsity level while maintaining a high standard of academic and social responsibility.
It’s easy to look at 0-9 and demand a change, but are you willing to look at the entire experience provided for our athletes?
We lost a good coach, good teacher and an even better man.
This team will win this year, but will they do the little things that make them good young men they did under coach Robinson?
What’s more important when looking at the big picture?
The new coaching salary should be the same as any other first year head coach as per the teacher contracts.
Thanks so much for the help Jim Lambo. Had to download the agenda to find out. Not a Htown resident but an Alumni and was curious.
I guess another question would be who else is on the staff? Robinson did have a couple of good assistants over the years that did a lot for the kids. I heard that they are all gone now. Any updates on this? Obviously they can’t all be that bad. One is the head coach at Warren Hills. Another just became the head coach at Hopatcong
Yes CJ seemed to have those on his staff that were aspiring head coaches.
Two are currently head football coaches (Hopatcong and warren hills) and one serves as a head hockey coach for the school as well all of whom the kids loved and really responded to.
The new coach would have to surround himself with high character coaches who know the game obviously, but can they connect with the kids the way the coaches have in the past. I am not sure if the district has teachers who are willing to coach, it may have to be outside hires. Would the district consider some of the TSA coaches if it came down to it? What are the requirements to be a high school coach?
New football coach was not hired at new coach pay. He was given the maximum salary possible. Interesting that the district hires all teachers at step 1 regardless of experience yet does this for a coach.
Probably because the max salary is nowhere near livable. It is a stipend and basically they are volunteers with a little extra side cash. With taxes you are taking home 6K.
“ Would the district consider some of the TSA coaches if it came down to it?”
There is no more TSA football.
If I'm looking at the right guy on google, he has college coaching experience. Perhaps that's why he got the higher pay.
No more tsa.
We all know what is meant when the question is asked Jim.
It’s a new name for the organization, still does not answer my question.
What was the reason for the new name of our feeder program. Does this mean the youth program will excel more than in the past? What adjustments are being made at the youth level to liken the probability of retention of these athletes and improving their football IQ by the time they get to HS.
No one seems to be looking at the big picture and thinks changing a coach who had players that did not have a weight room or support of the youth program coaches to fully adopt his offense is the easy fix. Now people want to think this is a monumental shift because of a shotgun set for the QB? That’s laughable.
If we want the program to be successful, let’s try investing in the program for what it would take for it to be successful? Say what you want, people hold football to a higher standard, it’s different. Then the commitment from the town and administration should reflect that. There are so many different ways we can support the program as a town and school so it can meet the expectations. People are doing the bare minimum but expecting a large return. In what scenario does this routinely work out?
Fully adopt this new coach’s offense at the youth level. Hire a dietician for the athletes, and our students as a whole, let the football team practice on the FOOTBALL field when other teams do not play games, provide the coach with the ability to hire a staff he can trust and pay what it costs to get his program off the ground.
As with any job, when you are told you’ll have all these resources and support, that is what makes it appealing.
Enough with our input being minimal and our expectation being maximized.
Sorry to be blunt.
If a team uses the stadium for a game, they should be allowed time to practice in the stadium. Soccer, LAX, Football, even Band. They’re all entitled to use the stadium for practice and share the facility. Football doesn’t deserve free run and sole ownership of the turf.
Concerned folk, I see you have numerous opinions. Have you ever, or plan on running for a position on the BOE?
I have attended several meetings and discussed this with Mr. Mango. There are a lot of ears who want to listen, but those that can put into action have stalled at the thought of implementing a concrete plan.
I do not think football deserves priority over the turf, but there should be a consistent use of the turf w times that span from 3:00-6:00 start times for programs wanting to practice on the turf.
“What was the reason for the new name of our feeder program. Does this mean the youth program will excel more than in the past? What adjustments are being made at the youth level to liken the probability of retention of these athletes and improving their football IQ by the time they get to HS.”
Come to the board meeting and find out 4/11 7:45. Open to the public. Oh and the feeder program has added 75 brand new players and counting so far. The feeder program has also had 5 meetings with the high school coach since he’s been hire less than a month ago and has another one next Thursday. So I’d say the name change was more than semantics.
I seem to have struck a nerve with you and I do apologize that you seemed to have been offended by my question.
I understand steps are being taken but when asked what tangible things are being done, I’m sorry but meetings are not sufficient enough to establish what our feeder coaches are going to do in order to flatten the learning curve and allow our athletes to compete.
With 75 new players registering through 9 grades that is roughly 8-9 players on average which is a significant jump and wish you the best of luck as my child is one of the newcomers.
I do not understand the adversarial, defensive tone of your posts.
If we’re judging success of football on wins. What is the youth program specifically doing to prepare the players to increase the high schools chances when they are there.
Looking at records over the course of time it appears the teams are relatively consistent based on performance throughout coach Robinson’s tenure.
We have had youth coaches who have not provided wins in the feeder program, why are they put in decision making positions for the feeder program? Seems to by hypocritical that we want one coach removed for losing games while others are retained and put in positions to grow the program.
Are we expecting these kids to grow into a juggernaut over 4 years out of nowhere?
To me it seems, politics played a part in the removal of our old coach.
And if we are solely judging amateur coaches on W/L record I expect the same treatment for other high school coaches and to a lesser extent our youth programs.
This is a dangerous precedent we have set as a town. Amateur sports should be about growth, development of character and integrity, accountability and discipline. All of which we had with CJ.
Haha don’t flatter yourself I don’t care about your opinion. While you’re posting nonsense on this site I’m out hustling working to better the feeder program and strengthen the relationship with the HS program. That’s great your child is one of the 75 new kids. I must have missed your request to volunteer as a youth coach since you are all knowing. feel free to email me to sign up to coach. There’s a coaches meeting with the HS coach on Thursday night to prep for the free clinic we are running with the HS head coach on Sunday 4/10 for all the youth players to teach them the new HS offense.
As for my defense tone, it’s real simple. Step up and help be a part of the solution or STFU. hiding behind a fake name on this site isn’t doing anything
What nonsense am I speaking? I have made salient points and am asking you who seems to be so connected for answers to questions that someone who is not as privileged to have time and give to our community.
And as someone who is leading this change, you certainly are setting a poor example for people to follow you with your language albeit abbreviated.
Thanks for your time, it has become clear the problem is ignorance and lack of self-awareness.
I do appreciate the work of all the volunteers and as someone who is unable to volunteer my time (people have a lot going on and not everyone can), I am unable to provide the adequate time the kids deserve, but see they are safely developing lessons under your inappropriate language, totally inappropriate.
Jim is a bulky and generally dislikes anyone that doesn’t agree with his agenda. A towny if ever one.
Lol now I’m a townie lmao. Funny I’m still a newbie here by most standards
As for your salient pts “concerned folk” you making them on this site is pointless and I’m not going to go over all the changes the new feeder program has made already. The board meetings are open to the public and all coaches and parents are encouraged to attend. You want to ask your questions do it there. Not hiding behind a fake name on this site.
Jim, Not everyone has the time or the resources (single parents, work schedules) to come to the BOE so instead of being vague it may be nice if you use this forum to share positive info to help the community. Knowledge can only help people make informed decisions. The awesome part is athletics in Hackettstown have greatly improved since I went through so someone is doing something right.
Telling someone to come to a meeting doesn’t account for those that may not be able to. Don’t be a gatekeeper. It’s a bad look. What if the football coaches refused to answer any questions via email and would only do so in person? He’d be strung up and you know it.
Imagine if this much energy and inquiry was made about the math teacher replacing Mr. Robinson! I guess that's not nearly as important as the coach. (I know, this thread is about football, this is strictly a sarcastic post)
For anyone interested, Tiger Football Club (the aforementioned "feeder program" for football) provides a fair amount of info on their website. Minutes are posted for each board meeting should anyone be interested to review what the board is up to. The following link brings you right to the Board Meetings section of the website.
Why would anyone need to waste time and gas just to find out the name of a new public school coach. Information sharing is kind of a point of the forum.
They’re hoping you don’t ask intelligent questions easier to hide things. This guy was a college coach. No way he’s making a small salary. Once again athletics over academics. Quick everyone line up for concussions.
The new coach just resigned due to unforseen family issues.
What a disaster! Mango and the board members who voted for this change should resign in disgrace.
Now we are down 2 excellent Math teachers and still looking for a football coach. Sounds like a win/win for the students of Hackettstown. Maybe it's time to fold the football program.
scotty, what are we all missing? are you insinuating that the new coach resigned already? Or are you referring to CJ leaving district? Kindly clarify thanks
First and foremost you hope the coach Weiss and his family endure and come out of their situation happy whole and healthy.
For our athletes, another adjustment will have to be made, to no fault of their own.
Let’s have some faith, although urgent faith, in our BOE and administration to acquire a new coach who has the the football acumen as well as an emphasis on character, integrity, and academics.
Who do we think is going to be in line? Would the district consider some of the TSA coaches if they are eligible? Where does the search start?
It is getting late in the game now - to go through the entire process all over again. Is there nobody left on the staff that is qualified to lead these kids ? Many assistants do have different backgrounds and philosophies - offensive and defensive. Just because they were on the previous staff does not mean they will run the same system. I am not sure who is left there or if anyone is qualified - but maybe it is worth a look? It also may help the transition as far as already knowing the kids.
So they cut loose a well liked coach, respected by both student/athletes and parents.
Interview, then hire his replacement.
He walks (wonder why?).
Please, no CYA excuses.
Now back to square one, and under the gun, with a shrinking pool of applicants.
What a cluster...
I know that all of the staff outside of one assistant was staying on board, but he only has 1 year experience coaching at the high school level.
Coach Norton has moved on the head the Hopatcong program and coach Barnhart and Rodgers are either retiring or focusing on coaching basketball.
There were several other assistants that have been let go, not sure for the reasons but not sure where they have gone to.
Does anyone know where the timeline needs to be?
Ok - didn't hear anything about them. Saw that Coach Norton took the Hopatcong job. If coach Rodgers and coach Barnhart are out - there were only 2 other assistants there this year.
Our school community is losing the respect of those in the county. I am deeply saddened by the information that is getting back about how the perception of our town is swiftly changing in the eyes or our sports competitors and friends from neighboring school districts. Hackettstown should be a place we claim as our own with pride, not one whose virtue we feel the need to defend. Praying for change.
I personally hope that Mr Weiss and his family are well. Those of you blaming the BOE for this resignation are being ridiculous for you do not know the Facts!
The AD will probably hire the person who was second choice after Mr Weiss.
as long as he is qualified.
Instead of badgering the situation how about being positive and supportive for the football program and our student/athletes!
Lets Go Tigers !!
I agree with you being supportive of our athletes as that is why this thread is here, to receive answers and support the team.
However it is extremely ironic that the administration is put in this really unfortunate position as they have created this dilemma themselves with the dismissal of a coach who did everything that a community member would want from a coach.
The facts are the man was dismissed for no reason other than the fact he lost football games, but he won over a lot of you of adults that became better men both in the classroom and the community, now a group of young men are left with a lack of leadership.
ALSO all the kids coming up to the high school are losing one of the best teachers in that bulding. I believe he leaves next week. You know his wife will soon follow which means ALL the kids will be losing out on 2 great teachers in this town. All this for an extra win or two. It was a pure witchhunt and now it's once again blowing up in their faces. Why did they make this athletic decesion, Isn't that the Athletic directors job? I heard they bypassed him cause he was 100% for the coach, guess the fix was in. I hope one board member in particular enjoys that extra win. Cause all the kids in this town just suffered educationally. GREAT JOB BOARD!!!!! Going in the right direction on this one-jump off that sinking ship. Way to blow-up the foundation in football. Get ready to start all over. Concerned Folk, they REALLY REALLY screwed this whole thing up. All for a couple parents think they know more. Keep listening to them it looks like it's working just fine.
You want good people around your kids…Coach Robinson was that. Very sad to see our school leadership push these high character people out. I know longer live in town, but I hope people in town step up and change the path of our once proud school districts.
I've got absolutely no skin in the game other than being a resident in the town (no kids now or ever in the system). With that said, I find it very disturbing that the Board (with apparently no consultation from or approval of the AD) fired this coach for not winning games. While I can certainly the desire for a winning season, this seems like the board micro-managing the school and a decision that was WAY out of the Board's league to make. Has there ever been another instance where the BoE decided to fire or not renew the contract of anyone (coach, teacher, janitor) without the support/request of that person's supervisor?
For the Board's sake, I hope that there was some other reason than lack of wins to go over the AD's head on this decision. If that was truly the only reason, I would be petrified as a coach of any sport there that my job is truly at the whim of the Board regardless of the support from the school administration.
Seems as if there are going to be a lot of names on the next School Board Election Ballot based upon all the wisdom and knowledge being put out there. Go for it or just sit behind your pathetic keyboard and make nonproductive noise.
Have a nice day!
This was all done to please a couple of parents and it came from the top. I hate to say it but it's all going in the wrong direction. Just to please some parents and that's the problem with the schools today.
The purpose of the board is to represent the community. To make informed decisions to benefit our students. This decision was made due to a select few squeaky wheels.
The board makes difficult decisions and no one is saying the board is doing a bad job overall, everyone is being extremely hypersensitive. Relax w the tough talk behind a keyboard on both ends.
But when a poor decision is made, yes those who make the decision should be held accountable, just as they are praised when a good decision is made.
For this particular matter the decision to remove a coach to appease a few, was short sighted and misguided based on a W/L ratio.
This forum is to inform and connect people. Not divide.
Admitting mistakes is part of being an adult, as as our board has made this knee-jerk decision, there should be some acknowledgment that the decision to remove CJ was a mistake regardless of what has happened with the resignation of coach Weiss.
We lost a great role model, awesome teacher, and a good man and he will do well and succeed wherever he goes.
He represented our town in a better fashion than most people who are charged with making the decisions and more than I have admittedly.
He has taken the high road, as it is right in line with his brand. He is a one of a kind individual that my kids will forever be better for having had him.
Well said concerned folk. Problem is you will never get an apology from the board. Also- I know for a fact that not all board members supported this shortsighted decision.
The old phrase ‘you don’t know what you got till it’s gone’ has never been more true!
Looks like it didn’t take long for coach Robinson to find a new job. Maybe that’s because he is a perfect candidate for any teaching and coaching job, but Hackettstown’s “decision makers” didn’t like his offense? Who cares if he makes young people better, why would we want that in a coach? As far as the next coach, who want that job knowing what they are walking into? To take it a step further, what coach would want to coach any sport at Hackettstown anymore? You coach kids to make young people better in life and Hackettstown leadership has shown that is not their priority. Such a shame for the kids.
Mango and Burke should run the Jets with their decesion making skills. Why listen to an Athletic Director who I heard is chosen by the NJSIAA to head big time committee's. They tried couple years back to do the same thing to Robinson and it blew up in mango's face. Well guess what just happened again. BOOM! No one on staff and kids walking around with no coach.
A+ for destroying a program that builds chracter and Men
Guess those two are going to run back to the AD (who they ignored and disrespected) and ask for help
Rule #1 to a winning franchise: Don't let incompetitent people make important decesions on matters they know nothing about
My son is really upset by all this garbage and his motivation is slipping with Football
That would be a shame if your son is losing interest. Football is such a great team sport. After reading many of these posts I called two friends who had kids that played for Robinson about 4 or 5 years ago. They were aware of what is going on with the coaching situation. One suggestion they made was to find out why Coach Miller wouldn’t be an option at this point. They said their kids enjoyed their time playing for him and he had their respect. Not sure if he applied and just didn’t get a call.
Miller would never do it I was told, he's best friends with Robinson. Heard he's just as sick about this whole thing and wants nothing to do with it. Great job to Mango and Burke for scaring away the rest of the staff as well. BOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!!
I know everyone say come to the meeting, but I live out of town and this a forum. I was wondering has “school leadership” told the public why coach Robinson was fired? Did he do something to negatively effect the students body? I think most know why, but has anyone came out publicly? Also hard to understand how Mr. Mango or parents (board members) know more then an athletic director? Makes no sense to not listen to the expert ion relations to sports. I have coached high sports for over 25 years and like to think I made an impact on my athletes during my career, not once once did I judge my success by wins and loses. And yes all coaches try to win including Coach Robinson. if this is about wins, this is a slippery slope Hackettstown is going down.
As for CJ, who I probably know better than anyone in this thread, he is a person of great character, a well-loved and respected guy by his students and peers, and a good man who I would and have entrusted with my own children. Anyone who wants to question his character needs to go through me first.
Nice quote from Burke to make himself look good, well done Burke. Make it look like you care about him. Very nice Burke! He knows it's you and Dave. Everyone knows and you guys look more foolish now then you did the first time you went after Coach Robinson. How did that work out for ya?
Anyone who wants to question his character needs to go through me first. NIce statement Burke and it did go through you and that's why he's gone. Way to make it look like you care and back him up.
Burke, I know you love to say come to a BOE meeting and say something then. YOU my friend need to explain why you wanted this done and if you say you didn't make this decision then you are lying to the public.
Better yet Burke and Mango, when your Athletic director gave his choice for coach, why didn't you listen to him? Doesn't he get paid big bucks? SInce when are you guys experts on the coaches? Do you guys go to practices?
Mango and Burke have ruined our football program and these kids have nothing as of this minute. Not to mention the hit educationally cause of this idiotic decision.
Hackettstown Football is in such a better place today thanks to those two
Hey, ya get what you pay for.
You expect a more positive outcome?
How? When you scrimp on salaries.
Mango is only being compensated $200K +.
(Plus full benny package)
Maybe a dumb question, but what does the football program do now in the Spring? Are players required to do workouts or practices that coaches monitor? Have things become a year round process and not just a fall sport anymore?
All I know is that many of the players (especially the seniors) are really deflated about all of this. These kids loved coach Robinson and were starting to get excited about coach Weiss after meeting him. If this does not get resolved soon, a lot of these kids are ready to move on from football.
Coach Robinson was highly liked and respected in the football community. I know many coaches who are looking for jobs would not even consider Hackettstown after seeing how CJ was railroaded.
Maybe Burke and Marty can coach the team from the WRNJ booth?
Burke and Mango should be held accountable for all of this garbage and should have to justify to the public why they made this decision.
I'm willing to bet Mango went running back to the AD asking for help now. Why don't you and Burke do all the interviewing. So when this gets even worse you guys can't hide behind a committee or say you had nothing to do with this.
The Football program is sinking faster than the Titanic!
Burke and Mango are the two worst things to happen to this town. Mango should resign. Double dipping ass.
People have been complaining about Mango for like a decade now. Do something about it.
Robinson has a career record of 29-52 and was 7-24 since the state final season. His last season the team was 0-9.
Time to move on people. Results speak for themselves.
Have you ever met Coach Robinson? Have you ever gone to see him coach? Are wins the most important thing in building character and making men? Danny, you need to go back to that cave you came from and bring Burke with you. He loves to talk Robinson losses or lack of wins. Most important thing in life Danny is WINS WINS WINS. That is what makes men and builds character WINS WINS WINS
Time for you to move on back to your cave and see you next year. No knowledge of HS sports in that brain.
The record is the record... When we post these numbers please understand that for the past 2 seasons this team was at a disadvantage. Most of the schools on their schedule did not have their weight room shut down. Most continued with their off season programs. These kids did not have that opportunity - and this put them on an uneven playing field. They are never the bigger team. They are never the strongest team. So I am actually not sure what everyone expected the past two seasons when these important off-season programs were not available.
Danny, if that is what Hackettstown values in high school sports then yes you move on. I hope it isn’t. This is not SEC football, it’s high school sports. Your goals should be different. I know the salaries certainly are lol.
The guy had 1 winning season in 10 years. Plain and simple..he hasn't won. He could be a great guy but there are other coaches out there that can instill those non football related qualities everyone is raving about while producing a winning program. No slight on the guy, but there has to be a metric for what constitutes a successful program. If wins don't matter then why field the team? If winning doesn't matter then make it a club sport or intramural then, it would certainly save the district a lot of money. Quite frankly it's embarrassing when your town team is poor year in and year out. The boys that go out want to be part of a winner make no mistake about it. Think of the different energy and feeling when the boys went to the final. Winning is important, it matters.
Now if they AD made the recommendation to keep him and a board member(s) circumvented that (as has been claimed here) then that is BS and a breach of authority in my opinion.
Just out of curiosity - because I don't have the stats - and since we are laying all of this on Robinson. How many of the 7th and 8th grade teams had winning records over the last 10 years ?
Citrusfire my son was on the 2011-2012 7th grade team. They might have won a few games that year. He didn't play in high school, but that same group of kids played under Robinson and it was the same kind of results. So there you go.
What does the new football coach teach? He is going to have his work cut out for him. It’s going to be a lot of pressure but hopefully the guy has some experience.
I’m curious who were the candidates for this position? All of that comes down to who can teach and fill the coaching role as well. It’s all about who brings the most value to the building.
I love hearing all these “experts” about how coach Robinson didn’t win and list his record. It is real easy to blame the coach when you don’t win. In my personal coaching career I had some good years and some bad. Coaches always try to win.You know when you win, when you have TALENT. In college coaches get fired not because they can’t coach but because they can’t recruit. Hate to say the truth but maybe these kids just weren’t that good at football. Saying that, I have no doubt Coach Robinson made them better people and that is what you fired. Actually feel bad for the next coach that walks into this mess.
That's kind of why I asked about the records of the 7th and 8th grade teams for the last 10 years. I'm assuming that senior class that went to the finals had a very good record in those grades - but if all the other classes only won 2 or 3 games each year - then I'm not sure what one can expect from them in high school. Yes it is easy to put the win/loss record on the coaches - that's part of the job. And its difficult to be realistic about your group of kids not being the most talented. I just find it interesting that two of his recent former assistants were good enough to get head coaching jobs at other schools - which kind of makes me think this problem is more of a talent issue and less of a coaching issue.
If the new coach resigned who did they hire as the head coach?
Coach Norton who took over at Hopatcong hopefully will be successful, but The program isn’t what it use to be. They’re independent not even in a conference. It will be a challenge for that young man.
My nephew played for Robinson and enjoyed it. When it comes down to it putting it all together is tough and challenging. Most guys get four-five year windows to put a product out.
The program use to have such rich tradition of culture and winning. And has struggled throughout the years not just with Robinson. I think that’s a double edge sword the way people are looking at this.
You have to go back and build this slowly again to regain that. It’s not gonna happen over night. Now the question becomes who will get hired to do that.
Do we have any alumni, teachers in the building? Is anyone coaching elsewhere who’s an alumni we can pull back here. If the youth level is invested and the town is invested it has potential to get back to the old days.
It sucks what happen to CJ, but he will land on his feet because he is a good teacher and a good coach. Now the focus has to be on the program and this team and kids.
The next guy should be someone who is familiar with the program been through and or around the program. We gotta find someone to step up and bring this program back to what it can be!
Agree…also I’m curious did Mr. Mango attend the football games? I ask this because I know when I coached the AD had to be at all the games, so I am guessing that hasn’t changed. And it seems as the athletic director want to him. So I am hoping that Mango went to the games to evaluate the coaches performance if he was going to fire him? If not then who is making this decision? I just hope a few parents or board members who certainly don’t have the qualifications of an athletic director are making this decision for a once proud town.
NotRight I don't know mango but I've heard through people he only shows up to games or events when they're the big games. Most people describe him as true politician and does things to benefit himself. I don't know him personally, so I don't know how true that is. Most people I've spoke to don't speak very highly of the guy. They think his intentions are not in the best interest for the school but himself. Again, I am strictly speaking on outside perspective here.
I do remember the old superintendent Mr Gratz was really invested in the sports programs. He use to know most kids by name including my nephews.
When your sports programs do well your school does well. Go to a basketball game and look at the crowds and youth level kids at the games. It brings excitement coach mcdonagh does a great job always getting those guys involved.
They need to start thinking short term fill cause they're running out of time. Does anyone know what teaching spots are open? That would help in finding someone long term.
The attention has to be directed at the kids it should be the sole focus here at this point.
Coach Robinson has had some alumni on staff in the past. Some were teachers in the area some were not. I do not know if any of them would be interested, or qualified for that matter.
There is a great deal of alums vacate about the program that would be willing to help I’m sure.
Are you of the coaches of other sports former football coaches able to step in?
They did it so unprofessional and the super did whatever Burke wanted. They don't even have a single coach on staff. How embarrassing for this to happen and all for a couple extra wins. Chot Morrison would be shaking his head at those two and what they've done to the football program.
Many good points Hudson - I think one question would be are those who were in that decision room willing to be patient for the next coach to slowly rebuild ? Not sure. Alumni or teachers or alumni coaching elsewhere ? That would make some sense - but one of the problems is most coaches do their homework. The situation here is not a secret anymore and I'm sure is out in the coaching community. I think even a young coach eager for their first head coaching job might be skeptical to apply now - with what they hear and also with the task of trying to find 4 or 5 quality assistants for a staff before the summer (it is already April now). Will this sour some of the kids and cause them to look for other things to do in the fall ? The focus has to be on them now. They don't deserve this mess. At this stage your point about the next coach being familiar with the program and the kids makes sense. That would speed things up alot and reduce the learning curve - while they implement their own systems. The longer this drags - the more of a chance the seniors have a rough season. Somebody said coach Rodgers and coach Barnhart are out. Coach Finn is an alumnus - he just finished his first season coaching so he might not be ready. Coach Miller was there before Robinson. He has been coaching high school football since the 90's - I was told he coached 2 championship teams at Pequannock in the late 90's. Somebody said they would never do it but at this point does it even hurt to reach out and ask them- if it would be in the best interest of the kids ? Or is this at the point where the school wants nothing to do with any of the Robinson assistants too? I guess at this point we need to get this thing resolved for the players....
Boy, I wish folks put in as much time, effort, and research into the school budget discussions as they are on this topic. The out of control spending impacts every single property owner. Crunch those numbers and the negative effects. Wins losses? Really that's so important? A coach practically compared to the Second Coming?! C'mon perspective people. In my opinion of course....
They were all loyal and good friends with Coach Robinson. I heard they are disgusted with what happened and would never cross that line to come back. Good for them, obviously loyalty still exists in this world.
Somebody explain to me why we only have looked at football for wins/losses? We have many sports that have had worst records but I guess they don't have a board members kid on the team.
Citrusfire- I agree there has to be someone willing to step up. They’re not in a situation anymore to wait around.
Villante was the former coach maybe get him for the year?
Barnhart? Broking coached a long time back fantastic coach. Sosnovick coached when my nephews were around. Any of these guys know anybody have interest.
I respect and agree the loyalty is great for CJ. At this point now though the kids are going to be hurt from this decision. If the guys in house don’t want to step up. And from what I have seen with Robinson I think he’s going to want to see the kids not be put in that scenario.
Are any former graduates teaching elsewhere that coach? Maybe some things to look at. It doesn’t seem like we are in positions to let personal vendettas get in the way. We keep forgetting it’s about the kids!
Very knowledgeable about the S2 bill which has restructured the state funding formula for districts in an attempt to level the playing field.
Hackettstown is one, if not the only school district that has seen an increase in state funding over the last 4 years in warren county.
I disagree with Mr. Mango’s decision to dismiss CJ, but he has a decent grasp on the budgetary standing of our district.
You look at other neighboring districts like great meadows, Belvedere, or in Morris county west Morris and Roxbury have lost hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars on a yearly basis since the conclusion of the 2019 school year.
This is a football thread, so I asked questions about the football program.
Had this been a budgetary question, and I felt inclined to chime in, I would speak on that.
Hudson: you post referencing Mr. Gratz made me think back to his tenure. It wasn't just sporting events that Mr. Gratz attended: he was at concerts-from Elementary to Middle School to High School. He attended theatre productions, and science fairs, and dressed up and read to the little ones on Read Across America Day. If there was an event happening somewhere in the district, chances are Gratz was there.
Gratz knew the kids and the staff in his district, and was well regarded.
He was well regarded by many. I don’t hear the same for mango but I don’t know him personally.
Does anyone have any updates on the coach?
I know someone said Miller was friends with Robinson but why wouldn’t they at least reach out and see if he’s interested.
Broking is elementary level my nephews loved him. I feel like in this situation might be best to plug someone in and start again next year.
The new coach should be implementing weight room protocols, summer schedule and install for offense and defense. It’s gonna be tough to do that short schedule and a shorten pre-season this upcoming fall.
They may want to start thinking about that and get this done. Robinson will be missed but it’s time to get a coach in place.
I heard the school had a meeting with the players pertaining to the situation but not sure the details.
Mr. Broking has many children and may not be interested in coaching.
Coach Miller may not be interested.
They may have to look at a first year coach at this point in the cycle. Word spreads in respect to what happened to CJ, why would an experienced coach want to be subjected to that type of situation? It very well may have to be someone who wants a start as a head coach.
Are they any local people who are qualified from town the district should pursue?
New teachers? Coaches from other sports?
Times being wasted for our athletes to be behind the 8-ball once again while other programs are training now.
So it’s April 14th and still no football coach in sight. I’m shocked that candidates are not lining up to interview for this job after seeing how CJ was treated.
If there is no coach in place in another week or 2, there will be a mass exodus of players. I know some kids are already looking into fall baseball, cross country, etc. Hackettstown football’s reputation is now officially in the toilet. Great job BOE and Mango!
Shameful that such a nice facility, turf, lights along with dedicated athletes gets screwed up by (heretofore) silent suspects.
We know they’re lurking on this thread and we know who they are.
Well, speak up.
Better yet, just slink away....
Symie, what happened to the coach they just hired?
He resigned after about two weeks - personal reasons
My neighbor has told me that his son on the team said that the principal held a meeting saying he would step in if a successor could not be found.
He was a coach back when Mr. villante was a coach years ago.
I wonder if anyone applied, would they receive the job on the spot.
Wow. I’ve never seen anything like this before. Talk about a master plan backfiring in the worst possible way. The principal is the last resort ? How much extra time could he possibly have to do everything that it takes to coach a football program? And with probably many inexperienced coaches. Now look at the state of the program. At one point it was about not winning enough games - and it has now approached a state of desperation to find a body to keep this program running. Hmmm. After all of this maybe somebody should ask Robinson. After everything that has happened so far and everything that he went through I bet he would say yes - because he is concerned about the kids. Obviously he is one of the very very few qualified candidates who even wants this job. Lol
Citrusfire- Robinson is leaving the district, he found another teaching position and position on the football staff. I believe this is his last week.
Sad, it's a huge loss for the community.
It's a huge loss for the school and the community, and never should have happened!
I have to say a huge loss for the school and the community is a bit of an over statement. While it is a loss for students in his class at the school and the children who participate in the football program, it certainly is not a "huge" loss for the community. Unfortunate yes. One person does not define nor is single handedly so impactful in a community or high school football program of all things that their departure alters life in said community. In my opinion of course.
Perspective folks; lets keep it in perspective.
Perhaps the BOE should stay out of coaching personnel decisions and let the AD do his job. If they don't trust their AD, then why is he in that position....
Unfair to minimize the detriment to the community.
The High School experience is carried by the students throughout their lives.
The experience is not only for the players; include the cheerleaders, the marching band, the boosters-homecoming memories-and all of the parents that participate or support.
Disrupting the continuity of the program ( which is now in chaos) due to won/loss records by several self centered individuals without a firm a alternative in place is certainly a wound that ripples throughout community.
Especially when the released individual was much respected by past and present participants and parents for contributions off the field.
All of that will still be there to experience. That fact that one person is no longer a part of one component of that does not dismiss the entire lifelong memory. He was not the second coming, just a person who did a good job and apparently was well thought of. Students, teachers, parents and related groups will still participate and carry on regardless of the current blip in the program. The continuity will return and the "chaos" will subside.
While I am impressed at the few who are so totally engaged in this situation and in particular the thread here, believe me for 98% of the community it is a non issue. I guarantee if polled, 9 out of 10 people are not even aware of this personnel decision or any impact it has real or perceived.
Just my opinion of course.
Perspective folks, perspective.
It’s now April 16th. Do you know where your football coach is?
29 wins in 81 attempts is a 23 percent winning percentage. lol
Give me a break the guy should have been fired years ago.
How is failing 77% of the time acceptable?
If you did that in a private sector job you would not be employed for long.
Grow up the guy can't coach and ive heard that for years......
With AD and principal leading the staff, does anyone know how else the staff will be filled out?
Have the boys been told what offensive scheme is going to be installed?
Have to feel bad for the kids.
Sosnovik is going to temporarily fill in? That's such a joke. He's the most arrogant man I have ever met that let his promotion go right to his head. He was such a nice and personable person prior to him becoming principal. Now, he's just arrogant and is just rude to parents and students present and passed. How is he suppose to run the school when he will be too busy with football? They lost a great and well liked teacher in Mr. Robinson.
You obviously don’t know Mr Sosnovik
The Joke is on You
3 weeks ago
For those that don’t know, the new coach is Michael Arakelian.
Also, the district broke its hiring practices. I know teachers who have been hired in recent years and were told their experience doesn’t matter and everyone starts on step 1, whether it’s your first or fifteenth year in education. They hired this guy on step 10, proving once again that athletics have priority.
Are you suggesting something was done underhandedly or improper? Or just not the way a perceived hiring process should go? Was an actual formal hiring process ignored? Sweet Jesus 278 comments on this topic with people bitching and moaning about the loss of the prior coach then the absence of a new coach and now that one is in place complaints about him or the manner in which he was brought in!
A quote from Ham Porter in the classic movie The Sandlot -" You're Killing me Smalls"
I guess you can say at least they finally got it done? I'm sure there was some desperation and scrambling to get it done. First choice declined, second choice accepted and then resigned, third choice declined - so hopefully 4th time is a charm.
3 weeks ago
Gee IDK, maybe the BOE should stay out of hires for sports and let the AD and Principal handle it... They should only be worried about the person being a good example to the kids. How many of them are qualified to make sports decisions, probably none of them.
Greg, people were hired and told there’s no negotiation for prior experience and that everyone is hired on step 1. If you review BOE agendas, this is also clearly visible. Step 1 for everyone. And then they hire this schmuck on step 10.
I guess what I'm not understanding is what is this level system you are referencing? Is it some sort of written policy as it relates to salary and or compensation for a new hire in the district? I would think at least as far as a coaching position, experience is a key factor and may be reflected in the salary. A quick Google search indicates this person has held coaching positions at several schools prior. I would think that is a positive and justifies suitable compensation. I am not sure if the "what people were told" is set in stone. In addition calling this person a schmuck indicates you seem to have an issue with this man personally already. Seems a bit unfair to me.
Steps are simply years of experience...No one would come in with 10 years experience and accept step 1. And no school would hire someone on Step 1 with 10 years experience, not as a coach not as a teacher.
He only made $59k as a gym teacher in Hanover Township this school year. Sounds like he hit the jackpot. Desperation is a strong motivator.
HANOVER TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SCHOOLS
September 21, 2021
40. Amend the appointment of Michael Arakelian from the previously
approved position of full time (1.0 FTE) Health and Physical Education Teacher, to the
position of full time (1.0 FTE) Physical Education Teacher, Memorial Junior School, at a
salary of BA Step 5, $59,050, effective 9/1/21 through 6/30/22, in accordance with the
Agreement between the Board and the HTEA. Continued employment will be subject to
approval by the New Jersey Department of Education, and the results of a criminal
history check as required by applicable law.
Cheapskates is correct. Steps are essentially years of experience. The school district hires everyone, regardless of experience, at step 1. That’s what many of our educators have been told. Then they hired this guy at step 10. This relates to classroom teaching only. I’m not as concerned with the stipend.
My neighbor said that he met the new football coach and said he is a very quiet but intense guy.
Wishing coach and his staff and most importantly the the 2022 tigers best of luck!
Antiwork-other staff members have found out within the last year that salaries are negotiable; stating that all are told they start on step one doesn’t mean a hill of beans. New hire last summer got hired several steps above what others got hired at (same phrase told to them, start at step 1) others that have been there longer and have more experience. When a review was requested, HEA findings reported that salaries are negotiable. Sorry to say, the step 1 comment is just not factual.
No reason to continue to complain. There is finally a coach in place - let him hire assistants and move on to chase the championship that is expected from this group.
1 week ago
HW, I’d love to hear about these HEA findings since I know HEA members who have no idea what you’re talking about. I also know many HEA members who have lost thousands of dollars every year because they are told that step 1 is non negotiable, leaving years of experience on the table.
Antiwork, not trying to be confrontational. I’m just stating that salaries are negotiable, grievance filed and conclusion was just that…salary is negotiable. Unless that member was directly involved in the case, they wouldn’t know anything about it. Not a big deal, it’s just not accurate to say all get hired at step 1.
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