After more than three decades as a constant in Ocean County basketball, John MacIntosh is moving on.

MacIntosh officially stepped down as Toms River South head boys basketball coach on Monday, ending a 36-year stint as a coach in Ocean County – 34 of which were as a head boys basketball coach at three different schools.

He will maintain his position as Coordinator of Athletics at Toms River South while also teaching physical education, health and drivers education.

“For the last few years, in the back of my mind, I’ve been think about how I might want to go about stepping down when the time came,” MacIntosh said. “I wanted to make sure that I left with a staff in place and a good situation for the next coach to work with, and that’s pretty much the case. After 36 straight years of coaching without a break, I just thought I was ready for one.”

Toms River South coach John MacIntosh (left) with players Khaleel Greene (3), Darius Hart (15), Tyler Fall (24) and Marquis Davis (back). MacIntosh stepped down as head coach of the Indians on Monday. (Photo by Bill Normile)

MacIntosh spent nine seasons as coach of the Indians, most recently guiding them to a 14-9 overall record and a third-place finish in a competitive Class A South division. He leaves a team that will return three starters – leading scorer Tymere Berry, as well as guard Khaleel Greene and forward Tyler Fall.

“I think they were a little shocked,” MacIntosh said of his team. “I spent the summer with them and I don’t think this was on their radar, but I think they get it. One thing that I think will help the transition is that I’ll still be in the school and around the team if there’s anything they ever need.

“The cupboard is not bare. They have a pretty talented core coming back and with some of the guys who graduated from other teams, they have a chance to do some good things in the division. They are going to be competitive every night.”

Prior to taking the job at Toms River South, MacIntosh spent 24 years as the head coach at Lacey, where he was the first ever coach in the history of the program. His coaching highlights with the Lions include five WOBM Tournament championships and a trip to both the Shore Conference and NJSIAA South Jersey Group III Tournament finals in 1991.

MacIntosh cited Lacey’s win over Christian Brothers Academy in the 1991 Shore Conference Tournament semifinals as a highlight of his time at Lacey and although the Lions lost to Lakewood in the championship game, that Lacey-Lakewood matchup was the last time two Ocean County programs played in the Shore Conference Tournament final until Lakewood beat Point Pleasant Beach in the 2013 final.

Lacey’s only other trip to a sectional final came in 2012 under head coach Ryan O’Rourke, who played for MacIntosh on that 1991 team.

Prior to taking the head job at Lacey, MacIntosh spent the 1979-80 season as the head coach at Central Regional.

“The thing I’ll miss most is the camaraderie with the players, the assistant coaches and the opposing coaches,” MacIntosh said. “I’m hoping to hang on to some of that with the relationships I’ve made over the years.

“I love the game. I consider myself a basketball junkie, so I’m sure I’ll be in a lot of gyms next year.”