Keyport has hired Andy Carlstrom as its head football coach, the school announced on Thursday night.

Carlstrom, a former head coach at St. John Vianney and Holmdel, replaces Jay Graham, who resigned after two seasons.

“I am very excited to be the new football coach at Keyport,” Carlstrom said in a press release from the school. “There is a long tradition of winning at Keyport, and I am honored to now be a part of it. In their history, they have 22 playoff appearances. They have made the sectional final 13 times and have won six of them. They also hold a 25-16 playoff record. Now that is a proud tradition!”

“We are very lucky to have Andy Carlstrom lead this program,” said Keyport athletic director Kevin Flynn. “From the beginning, it was clear that Andy was so excited to be a part of the Keyport family. His extensive knowledge and respect for the history of Keyport football was evident throughout our process. I know he is very excited to have this opportunity and he wants to do his part to carry on the many traditions still in place from Coach [Mike] Ciccotelli.”

Carlstrom owns a 31-30 career record in seven seasons at Holmdel and St. John Vianney. He resigned from St. John Vianney following the 2013 season to pursue a master’s degree in school administration. In 2007 Holmdel set the program single-season record for wins by going 10-1 while also capturing the Shore Conference National Division title for its first division title since 1999. Carlstrom resigned from Holmdel following the 2008 season with a 16-15 record. He was hired as St. John Vianney’s head coach for the 2011 season and went 15-15 in four seasons with the Lancers.

Coming to Keyport is a quasi-homecoming for Carlstrom, who graduated from Henry Hudson High School in 1987. Henry Hudson and Keyport have cooperative athletic programs in several sports, including football.

“This is as close as I can come to coaching at my alma mater,” Carlstrom said.

Following a 36-year stretch under Hall of Fame coach Mike Ciccotelli in which Keyport won six NJSIAA sectional titles and 11 Shore Conference division titles, the Red Raiders are now on their third head coach in five years. John Paczkowski took over for Ciccotelli in 2014 and went 9-12 in two seasons. Graham took over in 2016 and led Keyport to the Central Jersey Group 1 final, but the Red Raiders stumbled last season and finished 1-9.

Carlstrom’s hiring leaves Point Beach as the only vacant position in the Shore after John Wagner resigned two weeks ago.


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