Mike Puorro, who has been the head boys basketball coach at Wall the past six seasons, was approved as Barnegat's new head coach by the Board of Education on Tuesday night.

"I started my teaching career at Barnegat and always had good relationships with the faculty and administration as well, so not only did it appeal to me athletically, but on a personal level, it suited my family,'' Puorro said.

Mike Puorro (right) has left Wall after six seasons to take the head job at Barnegat. (Photo by Cliff Lavelle)

Puorro, whose wife is an AP physics teacher at Barnegat, led the Crimson Knights to a 17-win season in 2012-13, and Wall finished 10-16 this past winter. He will remain a teacher and girls golf coach at Wall but leaves behind a Crimson Knights team that returns a trio of three-year starters - rising seniors Trent Mitchell, Brendan Barcas and Ryan Janeczek - while replacing former coach Erik Mazur on a Barnegat squad coming off a 3-19 season.

"It was a very hard decision because I think the team coming back at Wall will be one of the best teams they've had in a while with three 3-year starters,'' Puorro said. "It was hard to leave before their senior year, but I have to do what's best for my family, and in the end this was right decision."

Barnegat plays in Class B South, the home of Puorro's alma mater, Point Boro. He starred under current head coach Kevin Hynes in the early 2000s and currently sits at No. 2 all-time on the program's career scoring list.

Puorro joins Monmouth Regional's John Rivera, a former Brookdale Community College assistant and head coach at Red Bank Regional, among the new hires in the Shore Conference heading into the 2014-15 season. Wall and Shore Regional have vacant positions, and Neptune has not re-approved Ken O'Donnell at this point, so those look to be the three spots left to be filled during this offseason.