Matt Cilento Resigns as Point Boro Football Coach
Matt Cilento, the 2017 Shore Sports Network Football Coach of the Year, has resigned as Point Boro's head coach after just two seasons.
"The commitment level I need to make to our kids and the football program, I'm not going to be able to invest that this year," Cilento said. "My kids are at the age where they are competing and I want to be a part of that. I've been coaching since 2000-2001 and I've missed a lot, so it's time."
The ever-growing demands and responsibilities of high school coaches made it difficult to have a family and devote the proper time to the athletic program. A choice had to be made and Cilento made the obvious decision.
"My father was the head coach at Woodbridge and Perth Amboy for a long time and you could just show up in mid-August," Cilento said. "You coached and played the games, and that was it. It wasn't year-round. It's different nowadays, and rightfully so, but you have to be the right guy to do it."
Cilento went 19-3 in two years and led the Panthers to back-to-back Shore Conference Class B South division titles. This past season, Point Boro went 11-1 and reached the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II sectional championship game for its first sectional final appearance since 2007. The 11 wins were the program's most since 2005.
Cilento was previously the defensive coordinator for Point Boro before taking over for Sean Henry after the 2015 season. Cilento was the sixth head coach in Point Boro history.
The Panthers had a top-10 offense and a top-10 defense in 2017. Led by senior quarterback James Fara, Point Boro and its triple-option attack was the No. 7 offense in the Shore Conference with an average of 32.5 points per game. Fara had a tremendous season to finish fourth in the Shore in rushing with 1,628 yards and 24 touchdowns while also throwing for 611 yards and seven touchdowns. Senior running back Brandon Cipriano also had a great season after an injury-shortened junior year. Cipriano ran for 825 yards and 12 touchdowns on an average of 11.9 yards per carry as one of Point Boro’s slot backs, and was also the Panthers’ leading receiving with 25 catches for 451 yards and five touchdowns. Senior fullback Tanner Gordon battled through an injury all season but still managed to run for 708 yards and eight touchdowns.
Before becoming Point Boro’s head coach in 2016 Cilento built some standout units as the Panthers’ defensive coordinator. With Cilento still running the defense this year, the Panthers finished as the Shore’s No. 4 defense in allowing just 12.9 points per game with one shutout. Point Boro allowed more than 20 points only once and held teams to seven points or less four times.
Cilento's resignation leaves Point Boro as the only head-coaching vacancy in the Shore. Potential on-staff candidates to replace him include offensive coordinator Brian Staub, a former Brick Memorial standout quarterback, and offensive/defensive line coach Ryan Canary, who is a former standout for the Panthers.
"If I can't make that commitment all year than I can't expect my kids to make that same committment," Cilento said. "For me it's going to be tough and I'm very grateful for the players and our community and our parents, who were very embracing and supportive. Our administratoin was very supportive of everything we've done and I'm just grateful to be a part of the Point Boro community."
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.