2022 Shore Football Coaches Foundation Hall of Fame Service Award: Jack Bush
As part of the 2022 All-Shore Gridiron Classic, the Shore Football Coaches Foundation Hall of Fame is honoring longtime assistant coach Jack Bush with the Career Service Award.
If you are involved in Shore Conference football you probably know "The Bush Man".
Jack Bush has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a football coach dating back to the late 1960s when legendary Brick Township head coach Warren Wolf gave Bush a chance as an unpaid volunteer coaching the running backs and secondary. The Green Dragons had become an instant powerhouse with six state titles in their first nine seasons as a varsity program, and for Bush, it was an opportunity he could not pass up.
That 1968 season was the beginning of a coaching career that is still ongoing for Bush, who has done everything from positional coaching to scouting and running video operations at Brick, Toms River North, Woodrow Wilson, St. Joseph's (now Donovan Catholic), Jackson Memorial, Toms River East, Barringer, and Lacey.
Bush spent three seasons with Wolf at Brick from 1968 to 1970 as the Dragons went 21-6 and won a Class A division title in 1970. When Toms River North head coach Dick Patton was looking for an assistant coach to fill out his staff during the Mariners' third varsity season in 1971, he turned to Bush and offered a paid position to coach the running backs and defensive backs.
Bush spent one season at Toms River North before accepting a position at his alma mater, Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden. Bush was the assistant defensive coordinator and head of scouting under head coach Joe Corbi and also served as the school's track and field coach. After three seasons back in Camden, Bush returned to the Shore at St. Joseph's High School in Toms River where he was the running backs/secondary coach under Bob Fiacco for the 1974 and 1975 seasons. Bush was also the school's head athletic trainer and head track and field coach.
From 1976 through the 1978 season, Bush was an assistant at Jackson Memorial under head coach Bill Ruddy and also an assistant track and field coach under Bill Riva. Additionally, he served as Jackson Township Recreation Director.
After bouncing around between five schools in a 10-year span, Bush took a spot on the inaugural coaching staff at Toms River East under Hall of Fame head coach George Jeck for the 1979 season. Bush would make his home on Raider Way for the next 20 seasons under Jeck (1979-1984), Ken Snyder (1985-1997), and Frank D'Alonzo (1998-1999). Bush again coached the running backs and defensive backs and was an assistant track and field coach (sprints, hurdles, jumps) under Al Zulewski
Bush headed north to Newark in 2000 and was an assistant at Barringer High School under Tom Basile from 2000 through 2003. He served as the assistant head coach, head of scouting, and coached the receivers, defensive backs, and offensive linemen. Bush was also the head track and field coach for those three seasons.
Bush's career came full circle in 2004 when he rejoined Wolf's staff at Brick 36 years after his first coaching gig. The Dragons won the Constitution Division title in 2008 in Wolf's 51st and final season as Brick's head coach.
Since 2009, Bush has served as an assistant coach at Lacey under Hall of Fame head coach Lou Vircillo, running the scouting department and serving as the head of videography. During his 12 seasons at Lacey, the Lions have won four division titles and in 2010 went 12-0 and captured the South Jersey Group 3 state sectional championship.
Bush is a 1963 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden and attended Fredrick Military Academy in Portsmouth, Va. in 1964. He lettered in football and track and field at FMA, which was undefeated and the No. 1 ranked prep school in the country. Bush ranked third nationally in kick return and punt return average. He also ran track in the spring of 1964 competing in the 100 (9.7 sec.), 200 (21.5 sec.), and 400 (48.5 sec.). He accepted a scholarship to Temple University for both football and track but ended up transferring to the College of New Jersey where he majored in health and physical education. Bush was a four-year football starter for the Lions and in track set the school record in the 400 at 47.5 seconds. He was a captain for both the football and track teams during his senior year.
Bush is a member of the TCNJ Alumni Association and was inducted into the school's Health and Physical Education Hall of Fame in 2018. He is an active member of IAABO #194 as a basketball official and was presented with a 50-year outstanding service award. Bush is also a member of the NJSIAA in track and field with a 45-years service award.
Jack and his wife, Janet, will be celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary in December. They have two children; Jill, who is a professor at the College of New Jersey married to Luke Wallace, and Justin, who is the VP of Uthra Sundaram Pharmaceuticals and married to Heather. Jack and Janet have three granddaughters: Kate, Lucy, and Clare.
Jack would like to thank the induction committee for awarding him this prestigious honor.