Legendary Point Boro Football Coach Al Saner Dies at 92
Al Saner, a legendary football coach at Point Boro, where the Panthers' home field bears his name, died at 92 on Wednesday, according to Brick Superintendent of Schools Tom Farrell.
Saner was Point Boro’s inaugural head football coach when the school opened in 1964 and led the Panthers for 27 seasons across two tenures. He is the program’s all-time winningest coach with a 154-81-9 record. During Saner’s reign, Point Boro won 11 Shore Conference division titles, the 1965 Central Jersey Group 1 title and consecutive NJSIAA South Jersey Group 2 titles in 1978 and 1979.
Point Boro went undefeated in three straight seasons from 1967 to 1969 and had a 34-game winning streak that extended into the 1970 season. That stood as the Shore Conference record until Middletown South had a 43-game winning streak in the mid-2000s.
Saner led Point Boro from 1964-1983 and again from 1986-1992, taking a two-year hiatus to become a coach at Kean University. He was inducted into the Shore Football Coaches Foundation Hall of Fame in 2009.
He learned the game as a player at Memorial High School in West New York. One of his coaches was the late Warren Wolf, the Brick legend who is second all time in New Jersey history with 364 wins.
The Hall of Famer was a longtime part of the All-Shore Gridiron Classic, New Jersey's oldest high school football all-star game, as a coach, assistant coach and supporter. Saner was part of Wolf's Ocean County staff in the inaugural game between Monmouth and Ocean County in 1978 at Wall Stadium.
Saner also mentored many Shore Conference head coaches himself during the latter half of his career, including Farrell during his time at what is now Donovan Catholic as well as New Egypt.
"He lived life to the fullest with unwavering optimism and positivity," Farrell wrote on X. "His love for his wife Marie and his family was deep and steadfast. I feel that I personally lost my “life coach”! I will so miss our morning phone calls."
Football was part of Saner's life right up to the end, as he supported the players on Manchester most recently. The Hawks are coached by Farrell's son, Tommy.
"Been trying to find the words to pay tribute to the great Coach Saner," the younger Farrell wrote on X. "Thank you for being a second father to my own father. Thank you for coming to every @ManchesterTwpFB game. Thank you for the life long lessons about the intricacies of football. I miss you and love you Coach!"
Saner was also an assistant on multiple state championship-winning staffs under Mark Ciccotelli at Freehold, Neptune and St. John Vianney. He also coached at Brick under former coach Len Zdanowicz.
"He was a man’s man and an honor to have coach in our program," Zdanowicz wrote on X. "The boys, staff and myself loved him and we will keep his memory alive every time we say 'Let’s Go Baby!'"