Legendary North Bergen High School football coach Vincent Ascolese, 77, passed away this morning after a long battle with cancer. Superintendent George Solter, Mayor/Director of Secondary and Elementary Education Nick Sacco and Board of Education President Julio Marenco reflected on Ascolese’s life with Hudson County View this afternoon.
Ascolese, the Bruins head coach from 1973 until 2011, retired after winning a state championship against Montclair High School when North Bergen scored a touchdown on the last play of the game.
Although the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) stripped the team of the title in June 2012 over recruiting allegations, Ascolese had won six other state titles during his career, as well as 13 county championships.Â
The Bruins football field was named after Ascolese following his retirement. Â
He boasted a career record of 356-127-7, good enough for the third winningest coach in the history of NJ High School football.
Additionally, Ascolese was named Hudson County Coach of the Year 14 times, was the 1997 Toyota Coach of the Year for the Eastern United States and guided North Bergen to a No. 1 state ranking by the Star-Ledger in 1978.
He is a member of the Hudson County Hall of Fame, NJ Football Coaches Hall of Fame and the Heisman Trophy Legends and won the Frank McGuire Achievement Award as well.
Solter, Sacco and Marenco all felt that Ascolese was a motivational coach that found a way to win, and off the field, always put family first.