At halftime of the 42nd All-Shore Gridiron Classic on Thursday, Jully 11, longtime official Bob Zampelle will be inducted into the Shore Football Coaches Foundation Hall of Fame.

A 1944 graduate of Keyport High School, Jerome “Bobby” Zampelle joined the United States Merchant Marines and served his country for four years. Upon leaving the service, Zampelle enrolled at the Panzer School of Physical Education (known today as Montclair State University) where he excelled at baseball. He turned down an offer to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals to return to his native Keyport, raise a family and pursue his ambition of being a teacher and coach.

He obtained his first teaching job in the Union Beach school system and eventually moved over to the Keyport school system in 1952. While at Keyport, Zampelle coached football, basketball and baseball with his baseball team winning the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group 2 championship in 1961. He eventually became the principal at Keyport High School before retiring in 1988.

Following his career as an educator, Zampelle became a respected and sought-after sports official throughout both the Shore Conference and rest of the state, officiating football as well as basketball and baseball for 49 years. He retired from officiating in 2009 after he had officiated many state championship games in all three sports.

Today, Zampelle and his wife of 65 years, the former Edith Masson, continue to enjoy life in their beloved Keyport where they raised six children and have been blessed with 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.


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