St. John Vianney has hired former Matawan head coach and Shore Conference Hall of Famer Joe Martucci as its new head football coach.

Martucci retired from coaching and teaching following the 2011 season and has since served as the running backs coach at Kean University. He succeeds Derek Sininsky, who resigned in December.

"This program has really developed into one of the better programs in the Shore and the opportunity to come back and hopefully finish my career in the Shore Conference was the determining factor," Martucci said. "I love Shore Conference football, I think it's the best in New Jersey, so to be able to come back is a great thing to be able to do."

"He's been around the Shore for years and was at Kean for the last six, and to have the opportunity to have a Hall of Fame coach take over the program was a win for us," said St. John Vianney athletic director Rich Lamberson.

The main reason Sininsky and SJV decided to part ways was that Sininsky teaches at Marlboro High School and could not be present at SJV during school hours. Martucci is retired and will thus be available during school hours.

"That was a big factor," Lamberson said. "Him being retired he has the ability to see our kids on a regular basis throughout the course of the day. He does know our school very well from being an AD and living around the street. And most importantly, he's a family man, a Catholic man and someone who attends mass on a regular basis."

Martucci’s hiring was first reported by the Asbury Park Press.

Martucci was Matawan’s head coach for 28 years from 1984-2011 and led the Huskies to five NJSIAA state sectional titles with a 197-91-1

The Huskies finished undefeated in 1988 for the first of Martucci’s five titles, which also included 1991, 1992, 2009 and in his final season in 2011. His 1988 and 2009 teams tied the school record with 11 wins.

Martucci began his 40-year high school coaching career as an assistant at St. John Vianney for one season before serving as an assistant and then the head coach at Matawan for the remainder of his tenure. He is the all-time wins leader at Matawan, having passed his old coach, Barry Rizzo, who was inducted into the Shore Football Coaches Foundation Hall of Fame in 2009.  In his final season in 2011, the Huskies stunned Rumson-Fair Haven 3-0 to win their second Central Jersey Group II title in three seasons in their third straight appearance in the finals. Martucci’s teams were 5-1 overall in NJSIAA championship games and reached the state playoffs in 18 of his 27 seasons. He also coached several Shore Conference greats, including former NFL players Jay Bellamy and Charlie Rogers.

Martucci is a 1968 Matawan graduate who was an all-state linebacker under Rizzo and went on to play linebacker at the University of Connecticut, where he graduated in 1972. He then served as an assistant under Rizzo for 11 seasons before taking over as head coach in 1984. He also is a member of the New Jersey Football Coaches Hall of Fame.

"I never lost that desire to make decisions and being up there with (Kean head coach) Danny (Garrett) and being a suggestion maker for the last six years I still have that burning desire to sit at the top and be the one to say, 'let's do this' instead of 'can we do this?'"

St. John Vianney will enter the 2018 season with a 38-game Shore Conference winning streak. The Lancers have won four straight division titles and reached the Non-Public Group III semifinals four straight seasons.

Under the new Shore Conference football alignment St. John Vianney will be in a division with Brick, Memorial, Freehold, Middletown North and Rumson-Fair Haven.

St. John Vianney opens the Shore Conference season against Red Bank Catholic in Week 0.

 

Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at bob.badders@townsquaremedia.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. 

 

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