The Central Regional Board of Education approved Justin Fumando as its new head football coach during Thursday night's board meeting.

Fumando succeeds Willie Jacobs, who resigned last month after three seasons. Fumando was most recently the defensive coordinator for Manalapan and was an assistant coach for the Braves for seven seasons, helping them become one of the top programs in the Shore Conference. Fumando was Manalapan's defensive coordinator when the Braves captured the 2014 NJSIAA Group V title.

Central Regional head football coach Justin Fumando. (Photo courtesy of Central Regional High School).

Fumando is a 2000 graduate of Middletown North and played collegiately at Kean University, where upon graduation became the defensive line coach while also serving as Kean's head Strength and Conditioning Coach for all the athletic programs.

Fumando's connection to Central stems from his time at Manalapan. Tom Gallahue, who was Manalapan's head coach from 2007-2009 and also an assistant under current head coach Ed Gurrieri, is now the Central Regional School District's Chief Academic Officer. Gallahue was previously the principal at Central and also an assistant coach for the Golden Eagles during the 2014 season.

Central is coming off back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in over a decade. The Golden Eagles went 6-4 last season and finished 8-3 in 2014 when they claimed a share of the Class B South division title and won the program's first state playoff game since 1994.

Central moves from B South to Class A South for the 2016 season to play in a division that includes defending sectional champions Jackson Memorial (Central Jersey Group IV) and Toms River North (South Jersey Group V), as well as sectional finalist Brick Memorial. The Golden Eagles return one of the Shore Conference’s top running backs, Mike Bickford, for his senior season. Bickford ran for a school-record 2,052 yards as a sophomore before rushing for over 1,500 yards last season.

 

Football editor Bob Badders can be reached at badders@allshoremedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.