Less than a month after his team finished an unbeaten season with a second consecutive NJSIAA Group II title, Holmdel boys soccer coach John Nacarlo stepped down from his position, the Hornets head coach told Shore Sports Network on Tuesday.

Nacarlo notified Holmdel athletic director Shane Fallon and several of his players of his resignation on Tuesday, ending a decorated 16-year tenure as the head coach of the Hornets. He said he came to the decision prior to the season and plans to spend more time coaching his two young sons, ages 10 and seven.

During 16 years under Nacarlo, Holmdel went 223-94-21, won seven NJSIAA sectional championships, three overall group championships and a Shore Conference Tournament title.

Holmdel coach John Nacarlo. (Photo by Paula Lopez)
Holmdel boys soccer coach John Nacarlo. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Holmdel reached unprecedented heights in Nacarlo's final two seasons, going a combined 44-1-2, winning back-to-back Group II championships and finishing this past season No. 1 in the state by NJ.com, and nationally-ranked by Top Drawer Soccer (No. 6) and MaxPreps (No. 13).

Over the last two years, Holmdel dominated opponents to the tune of 210 goals scored against just 26 allowed. The Hornets had their best season ever in 2017, going 22-1-1 en route to their first ever Shore Conference Tournament championship and second ever NJSIAA Group title. Nacarlo was named the Shore Sports Network Coach of the Year at the end of 2017.

They followed that historic season with an even better one this fall. Holmdel fell short of a second straight SCT championship when it lost to Ocean on penalty kicks, which accounted for the team's only draw of the season. The Hornets responded by steamrolling their way to the program's seventh sectional title, beating Delran, 2-1, in the Group II semifinals and downing previously-unbeaten Glen Rock, 3-1, in the Group II championship game.

Holmdel won its first sectional title in 2006, Nacarlo's fourth season on the job. Four years later, the Hornets went 22-1 and won the program's first ever overall group title, which came in Group III.

After winning Group III in 2010, Holmdel lost in the Group II championship in both 2011 and 2012 and later lost in the 2015 Group II final, when many of the 2017 team members were sophomores or freshmen.

Holmdel also reached the Shore Conference Tournament final two other times prior to 2017, losing to a powerhouse CBA team in 2011 and to Ocean in 2012. Nacarlo guided the Hornets to the the SCT semifinals five times, including three straight years from 2011 to 2013.

Nacarlo is a graduate of Brick Memorial High School and William Paterson University, playing goalkeeper for both soccer programs. He currently teaches in the Holmdel School District and lives in Manahawkin with his wife Stephanie and their three children.

Holmdel will return three starters from its 2018 team next year: 23-goal scorer Jack Giamanco, All-Shore defender Mark Walier and midfielder Eric Hinds - all of whom will be seniors.


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