Contact Us

The Passing Of John Amabile – Hometown View

To some John Amabile will best be remembered as the football coach with the big straw hat while others will talk about his sideline and on-field tirades which became almost legendary. Lost in all of that is the fact that Amabile was an incredibly successful coach with legions of admirers and devoted followers and friends who are mourning his passing Sunday night of pancreatic cancer at the age of 72.

John Amabile at the 2010 North/South game where he served as an honorary coach for the south. (Bill Normile)
John Amabile at the 2010 North/South game where he served as an honorary coach for the south. (Bill Normile)

A Jersey City native who played quarterback at Boston College, Amabile’s first coaching job at the shore came in 1970 at Middletown High School. He moved to Wall in 1977 where he won a pair of state sectional titles and also compiled a 33-game winning streak before taking the Neptune job in 1985.

For the next 15 years he guided the Scarlet Fliers to unparalleled success, including three state sectional championships and during one stretch five consecutive division titles. Even in retirement Amabile continued to coach spending six seasons at St. John Vianney and another at Allentown before running the offense at Long Branch last season. His career record of 218-141-8 makes him one of only six coaches to win 200 games while at the shore.

For many of the 35 seasons in which the Nets called New Jersey home they were a pretty bad basketball team. It didn’t matter whether they were playing in Piscataway, East Rutherford or Newark wins were often hard to come by but seats were easy to find. That all comes to a close tonight when the Nets host the 76ers at the Prudential Center in their final Garden State home game.

A billboard welcomes the Nets to their new home in Brooklyn
A billboard welcomes the Nets to the Barclay Center, their new home in Brooklyn (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The Nets of course are headed next season to Brooklyn and the brand-new Barclays Center and most will not give it a second thought that New Jersey no longer has a pro team because they didn’t notice when they were here. However there were some good times, especially in 2002 and 2003 when Jason Kidd led the Nets into the NBA Finals.

I doubt too many New Jerseyans will follow them to Brooklyn…heck they didn’t follow them here.

Photo of John Amabile courtesy Bill Normile.

 

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://shoresportsnetwork.com using your Facebook account.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on Shore Sports Network quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on Shore Sports Network quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!