The Crimson

Coach Falzarano named to NJSIAA Hall of Fame

Ava Cummings ‘17, Editor-in-Chief

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On Sunday March 26, 2017, Coach Jeffrey Falzarano of the Bernards Baseball team was named to the New Jersey State Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Falzarano was selected to receive this award by the NJ Scholastic Coaches Association, a subcommittee of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. In receiving the award, Falzarano was recognized for his coaching of baseball, basketball, and swimming.

In response to receiving the award, Coach Falzarano said “I am greatly humbled by it. It truly is never something I even dreamed of or expected.”

This 2016/17 school year, Coach Falzarano will be leading his 14th season as head coach for the Bernards baseball team. However, his coaching experience extends back much farther. Falzarano received his first coaching job as a college senior, when he decided to retire his college athletics career in favor of pursuing one in coaching. He started as an assistant coach in both football and baseball, and found it so enjoyable that he decided to make a career out of it. Subsequently, Falzarano retired his degree in marketing and instead pursued one in education.

While honored for his coaching of three sports, Falzarano’s foremost expertise pertains to baseball, a sport he has been coaching for over thirty years. Over his career, Falzarano has spent twenty-one spring seasons as a head baseball coach- fourteen of which have been as a head coach at Bernards. Falzarano additionally spent two years as an assistant baseball coach at Bernards, under the head coaching of current Athletic Director Mr. Hoppe. Outside of his coaching career at Bernards, Falzarano held coaching jobs at Bridgewater-Raritan East and Watchung Hills High Schools.

Under Coach Falzarano’s head coaching, the Bernards Baseball program has had tremendous success. In 2013, the baseball team won the Somerset County Championship. Following this, in 2014 the baseball team won the sectional title, after three years of losing the sectional title in the final game.

However, to Coach Falzarano, the success of his program lies not in its winning history, but instead in the “life lessons” that the game ingrains within its players. “To me,” said Falzarano, “the winning is special, but the learning and the growth and the relationships are even more so.” While he recognizes that it is the competitive nature of the sport which oftentimes drives its players, the “life lessons are truly what is most meaningful.”

Likewise, when reflecting back upon his career as head coach of the Bernards Baseball team, Coach Falzarano finds himself most proud of the qualitative moments, rather than the quantitative. “I’m proud of the baseball careers and life goals that a number of my former players have established and attained; I’m proud of the way our players handle themselves when representing our team, whether it be in public or on the playing field; I’m proud of the energy and discipline we play with,” said Falzarano.

In addition to leading a successful program year-after-year, Falzarano has also remained a favorite among those that he coaches. While reflecting upon his time spent on the baseball team, senior baseball player Austin Gill said “Coach Falz’s extreme attention to details and love of the game separates him from other coaches.” Reflecting upon Falzarano as a coach, Junior baseball player Phil Mahlik said that “The most important lesson that Coach Falz has taught me is never to be satisfied with what you have, and to always keep pushing for more.”

Likewise, Falzarano receives praise from current Athletic Director and retired head baseball coach, Mr. Hoppe, who said, “Simply put, Coach Falzarano’s records speaks for themselves.”

“I am truly grateful to have had all these opportunities; truly grateful for the direction athletics has taken me; truly grateful for the people, mentors, coaches, players I’ve been lucky enough to learn from, coach with, coach, etc. It is so difficult for me to even fathom something like this,” Falzarano stated.

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Coach Falzarano named to NJSIAA Hall of Fame