Boys Soccer – Keane To Retire Following 2015-16
Dan Keane, the head coach of Christian Brothers Academy soccer and tennis for nearly four full decades, announced Thursday that the 2015-16 scholastic will be his last as a coach and teacher at CBA.
"I'm really a proud reflection of the players and coaches of both programs," Keane said via a press release by the school. It's just been a great opportunity and I've been very fortunate. As long as (the students) got through here and feel good about themselves, I'm happy."
Keane said his age and mobility were factors in his decision. He has had two back surgeries and underwent his fifth surgery to remove melanoma this past February, which he said had a significant impact on his decision.
"I promised myself before last year that if I ever had to have one of those surgeries again, then that would be it and sure enough, my doctor found another patch in February," Keane said. "Fortunately, they've caught it early every time and I've been able to remain healthy. I just can't move around that well anymore and at 67 years old, it got to the point that even though I still like being around the team and being around the sport, it's probably a little too physically demanding for me."
The 2015 season will be Keane's 38th as the soccer coach, a position he took over in the fall of 1978. In 37 full seasons, Keane has amassed a record of 526-153-40, a body of work that includes four overall NJSIAA Non-Public A championships and eight Shore Conference Tournament championships. CBA won one of each during its perfect 2011 season in which the Colts went 21-0 and defeated Delbarton, 1-0, in the state final on an overtime golden goal by current University of Virginia senior Scott Thomsen.
Keane also boasts a 649-155 career record during his 36 seasons as tennis coach. Under Keane's direction, the Colts tennis program has won 14 state championships, including seven straight from 1980 - his first season as coach - to 1986. He began teaching at CBA in 1977.
"On behalf of the CBA Athletic Department, I would like to thank Coach Keane on his impeccable dedication, commitment, and service to the mission of CBA over the past 38 years," CBA Athletic Director Vito Chiaravalloti said in a statement. "In his years here at CBA, he has compiled one of the most impressive coaching resumes of all time, but most importantly, he has positively impacted the lives of so many young men both on the field and in the classroom. His presence on campus will be missed and we wish him and his family nothing but the best in his retirement years."
There is no current plan for succession and although he would be the logical in-house choice, current assistant Jeff Matson - who has been Keane's assistant since 1994 - said he does not know if he would want the position if the Colts are looking for a long-term solution given that he is 59 years old.
"I've thought about it, but I haven't decided what I want to do yet," Matson said.
"If Coach Matson is the next coach, virtually nothing would change," Keane said. "He runs practice, he does the game plan, so the program would continue forward. Whatever happens, I've had my opportunity and it's more than I could have ever hoped for. Whoever the next coach is, it will be his team and his chance to be the coach, so you won't hear me saying anything to him from the other side of the fence."
CBA enters the upcoming soccer season as one of the Shore's top teams after finishing 2014 with 14-6-1 that also included a Shore Conference Class A North division co-championship that the Colts shared with Manalapan. CBA was ranked No. 3 in the final 2014 Shore Sports Network Top 10 and returns seven significant contributors from last year's roster, including standout junior Matt Thorsheim and senior 10-goal scorer John Frycz.
"Winning is always important to me," Keane said. "I want to win as much as anyone, but I've always enjoyed the competition, the kids, my coaches and, if you can believe it, the opposing coaches as well. I have a great appreciation for all of the people who I've had to opportunity to meet over the years. I've been very lucky."