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The next era of Barnegat football has arrived.

At Tuesday night’s Barnegat Township Schools Board of Education meeting, Paul Covine was approved as the new head coach of Barnegat High School’s football program. A Barnegat native and a 12-year member of the Bengals’ coaching staff, Covine takes over for Rob Davis, who resigned in November after 15 years as Barnegat’s first and only head coach.

“I’m ecstatic, I really don’t have any words to describe it,” Covine said. ‘I’m a Barnegat guy and just to get hired to coach football here 12 years ago was awesome. I coached in the middle school and then the freshmen and then was a varsity assistant and then the defensive coordinator, and now this. It’s a dream come true.”

“I coached Paul in eighth grade so I’ve watched him grow and go to college, and he’s a leader,” said Barnegat Athletic Director John Germano. “He is very decisive and is so respected by his staff and the kids, you can just see it when he talks. He is a stand-up guy the kids can relate to. I’m extremely proud of him. He’s an amazing person and I’m glad he’s our coach now. I can’t thank the Board of Education and our Superintendent Brian Latwis enough because they supported an in-house hire and that is tremendous for the continuity of the program.”

Shore Sports Network broke the news of Davis’s resignation on Nov. 18 when he said the Bengals’ season finale against St. John Vianney would be his last game as head coach. Barnegat sent him out a winner with a 14-7 victory that concluded his Barnegat tenure with an 82-69 record, four division titles, one NJSIAA sectional final appearance and two additional appearances in the sectional semifinals.

Finding the next head coach was something Germano wanted to do quickly so the program wouldn’t be in limbo over the holiday break.

“We’re very proud of our football program in Barnegat and we want to continue the great things we’ve been doing,” Germano said. “We wanted to get this done so the kids didn’t go into the Christmas break without a clear direction. When Rob resigned and we had to make a hire, I looked around the Shore at all the successful programs and you see that they hire from within. We had a great in-house candidate, a guy who is trained in what we like to call ‘The Bengal Way’.”

“One of my selling points when I was going for the job is that nobody knows the kids better than me because I’ve been a part of what Coach Davis has built,” Covine said. “I think that’s so important for the kids, that it’s an easy transition for them.”

Covine attended Barnegat schools and is a graduate of Southern Regional High School, which was where Barnegat residents went to high school before Barnegat High School opened in 2004. He began coaching at Brackman Middle School before moving up to coach the freshmen at the high school. After several seasons coaching the varsity linebackers, Covine was promoted to defensive coordinator and held that role for the past three seasons.

“Any career path you choose in life, when you get hired at the bottom you always have the goal to work your way up,” Covine said. “Coach Davis had a huge role in that, believing in me and allowing me to grow as a coach.”

Barnegat finished 5-3 this past season for its fifth straight season at .500 or better. In fact, in 15 seasons under Davis, Barnegat had just four losing seasons.

“Obviously Rob has put his life into Barnegat football, he built it from literally the ground up,” Covine said. “My goal is to continue that tradition and at the same time put my stamp on it.”

 

Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at bob.badders@townsquaremedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights. 

 

 

 

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