Rumson-Fair Haven Football Coach Jerry Schulte Steps Down, Replaced by Son Jeremy Schulte
Rumson-Fair Haven has a new head football coach, but the job of leading one of New Jersey's best public school gridiron programs is staying in the family.
Longtime Shore Conference coach Jerry Schulte led the Bulldogs for the past six seasons and built upon their championship pedigree by winning two NJSIAA state sectional titles, a South Group 3 Bowl Game, and Shore Conference two division titles. Schulte went 50-15 at the helm, but on Tuesday night, Schulte's resignation was made official at the district's school board meeting.
His replacement? His son, Jeremy.
Jeremy Schulte was approved as the Bulldogs' new head coach on Tuesday night, following the same path as his father in going from defensive coordinator to head coach. He has been Rumson's defensive coordinator under his father and was an RFH assistant coach for several years before that.
Jerry Schulte will remain on staff as an assistant coach (defensive coordinator), according to Rumson Athletic Director Chris Lanzalatto.
"I'm really excited about it," Jeremy Schulte said. "He and I talked about it before last season and at the beginning of last season about him making the switch, and this was the right time to do it."
Before becoming RFH head coach Jerry Schulte was Rumson's defensive coordinator for many years under former head coaches Shane Fallon and Bryan Batchler, helping to lead Rumson to six NJSIAA sectional titles altogether. He was also the head coat at Mater Dei from 1980-1984 and Wall's head coach from 1990-1999. He has a career record of 109-64-1.
"When I was a senior in high school he was looking to coach with a team that played mostly Saturdays because we (at Ocean) played Friday night," Schulte said. "That ended up being RFH because they didn't have lights at the time."
Current Red Bank Regional head coach Shane Fallon started the Bulldogs on their championship run when Rumson broke through for their first NJSIAA state sectional title in 2010. Fallon resigned after the 2012 season and Batchler took over after also being an RFH assistant. Rumson won sectional titles in 2013, 2014, and 2015 under Batchler before Schulte took over in 2016. Rumson won another sectional in 2016 to become just the third Shore Conference program to win four straight sectional titles (Manasquan, Middletown South).
Rumson also won the 2018 Central Jersey Group 3 sectional title and the South Group 3 Bowl Game and reached sectional finals in 2017, 2019, and 2021.
It was under Fallon that Schulte's coaching career started.
"I was graduating high school and Shane knew me pretty well from the time my dad was there," Schulte said. "He asked me to be a volunteer coach for the freshmen and in the first week, I fell in love with it and knew this is what I want to do. That's what got me into teaching, and before I got a teaching job I made sure that what job I had I was still going to be able to coach football at Rumson."
RFH had several standout seniors last season and will have multiple starters to replace, but the program has proven it can develop great teams year after year. Top returners for the 2022 season include wide receivers Scott Venancio and Nick Rigby, defensive backs Alex Cady, Ryan Kalman, and Beau Kemler, and defensive linemen Cooper Bunnell, Marshall Halfacre, and Julien Devlin.