Rodney Taylor, who was the freshman coach at Neptune last season, was approved by the Board of Education as the Scarlet Fliers' new head football coach on Wednesday night.

Taylor, whose imminent hiring was first reported on Tuesday, is a Neptune graduate and has worked at the school and coached since 2006, succeeds Mark Ciccotelli, who left in the winter to take the head job at St. John Vianney. Taylor, who played under legendary Neptune coach John Amabile, inherits one of the Shore Conference's perennially competitive programs, one season after the Scarlet Fliers went 5-5 and reached the Central Jersey Group IV playoffs. Prior to last season, Ciccotelli led Neptune to the Central Jersey Group III title in 2011, its first state title since 1998, and a return trip to the CJ III final as well as the program's first division title in 14 years in 2012.

Neptune has a host of returners, including the bulk of the offensive line and rising senior running back Jaree Parrish, who emerged as one of the Shore's most improved and explosive running backs by the end of the season.

Taylor's hiring now leaves vacancies at Keyport, Howell, Manchester and Colts Neck as the summer looms. Wall's vacancy is expected to be filled by first-time head coach Dan Curcione, who was the Crimson Knights' defensive coordinator last season.