Football: Dom Lepore hired as Manalapan head coach
Dominick Lepore was hired as the new head football coach at Manalapan High School during Monday night’s Freehold Regional High School District Board of Education meeting.
Lepore has been Manalapan’s defensive coordinator since 2016 and is the former head coach at Freehold Township. He will succeed Ed Gurrieri, who resigned on June 2 after 23 years at Manalapan, including 13 as the head coach.
During Lepore’s tenure as the Braves’ defensive coordinator, Manalapan twice had defenses ranked in the top-five in points allowed per game, including ranked No. 3 in the Shore in 2016 and No. 1 in the Shore in 2017.
Lepore was the head coach at Freehold Township High School from 2000 to 2009 and accumulated a 36-64 record. In 2001 he led the Patriots to a 7-3 record, which at the time was the school record for wins in a season, and the program’s first appearance in the state playoffs. Freehold Township has had just six winning seasons in its 48-year history and Lepore was at the helm for two of them.
Manalapan went 5-4 this past season in the loaded Shore Conference American Division competing against Toms River North, Rumson-Fair Haven, Red Bank Catholic, Middletown South and Long Branch.
Manalapan will remain in the American Division this season and will compete against Jackson Memorial, Middletown South, Red Bank Catholic, Toms River North and Wall.
Gurrieri was Manalapan’s head coach for a total of 13 years across two stints, including 10 straight years from 2010 to this past season. His teams never had a losing season and only went 5-5 once, which came during his first year as head coach in 2004. He posted a 109-35 career record with the Braves, good for a .757 winning percentage. The Braves posted double-digit wins in six seasons, including four straight from 2011 to 2014, and won five Shore Conference Class A North division titles, including five in a row from 2010 to 2014. Manalapan reached six sectional title games under Gurrieri and in 2014 captured the program’s first state title with a 21-7 win over South Brunswick in the Central Jersey Group 5 final
Lepore’s hiring will fill the final vacant football head coaching position in the Shore Conference and cap an action-packed offseason that included several high-profile hirings. In addition to Gurrieri resigning, Frank Edgerly resigned at Red Bank Catholic and was hired as the head coach at Howell. Former Rumson-Fair Haven head coach Shane Fallon resigned as the athletic director at Holmdel to become the head coach at Neptune. Additionally, first-time Jarrett Pidgeon was hired as the head coach at Central Regional, former Toms River South and Pinelands head coach Brian Wilkinson was hired at Manchester and Mike Alberque took over for Joe Martucci at St. John Vianney
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