Brittney Griffin, was replaced as the Head Coach of Saint Thomas Aquinas high school. She spent 10 years as an loyal asst coach and then getting her first head coaching after then Bishop Ahr fired Legendary coach Kevin Harper was fired. She had a remarkable record of 94-21. She won consecutive Middlesex County titles in dominating fashion. She beat the defending state champs MANASQUAN in one of the biggest upsets in the schools history. She turned the program into a Top 10 ranked team. Griffin coached two of some of the best players in the state of New Jersey. Emma Boslet the schools all time leading scorer and two time County player of the year. Kelsey Ransom was ranked 31st in her position by ESPN. Both will attend D1 schools next season. Boslet will attend St. Joe’s of the Atlantic 10 and Ransom will attend Georgetown of the Big East. Both are not only talented but regarded as two of the classiest young ladies in high school. St. Thomas Aquinas was regarded as a classy program, run by one the most talented young coaches in the state in Brittney Griffin. She was a future superstar in the coaching world. So why was she fired from her position as head coach? Did she break a rule? Has she misrepresented the school? Was there questionable behavior? Was she a losing coach? Was she unprepared? The answer to all those questions is NO.. she was fired because the good ole boys network is alive and well.
When new Athletic Director Jerry Smith was hired, according to Brittney Griffin, she was told her program needed some changes. Coach Griffin was fired for two bogus reasons. The first thing she was told was she needed to do a better job of recruiting. THIS is ILLEGAL. The second reason was a few parents were unhappy with their situation. Well it’s impossible to play 15 kids so you’re always going to have unhappy parents. This is the case at every single school in the country. The fact of the matter is the new AD never wanted Brittney Griffin as his coach. He didn’t care that she was highly successful and talented. He didn’t care she had been a loyal member of the community and the school. He never thought about doing his job and mentoring his mega talented young coach, if there were indeed issues. He was never transparent about her status. What he wanted was his guy coaching. He wanted to make a splash and for these reasons, a talented young coach is fighting for her career. Brittney Griffin, is no longer the coach at St. Thomas Aquinas and now while dealing with the coronavirus.. she is home, confused, in tears, not understanding and scared. She’s afraid to fight back out of fear she will be labeled as a trouble maker. She wants to coach again. So another YOUNG FEMALE coach has been mistreated by the male establishment and nobody will come to her aid. Because when these things happen people get silent.
When AD’s hires a coach, are they not suppose to do a background check on a coach? Did AD Jerry Smith do these things? He has many folks bragging of his talents. He was a highly successful football coach. But the question remains did he do his job? Did he call St. Rose, did he call Georgian Court, University. Did he call immaculate Conception? Did he speak to his former asst coach who became the head coach? Did he speak to the many AAU teams he coached? I have no idea if Jerry Smith spoke to any of these people. Because his quotes in the paper were borderline laughable. So let me address a few of his OWN WORDS
“He also knows how to develop players, not just the starting five, but the entire group of girls entrusted to his coaching.” AD, Jerry Smith.
Now people this statement leads me to believe that Jerry Smith clearly did not do his homework. Because here is a fact. Nobody and I mean nobody that knows Joe Whalen history would ever make this statement with a straight face. While at St Rose Joe Whalen, he would conduct 5.30am shooting sessions before school on many if not most days. Not with the entire team, but only a his chosen few meaning the starting five. he was known to invite other players and then say they don’t have time to shoot on the gun. This left many kids feeling not wanted and unappreciated. Joe Whalen conducted team meeting with just his starting five while other players including his captain stayed outside. When the team Captain Kayla Dillinger’s parents went to the administration and accused Coach Whalen of bullying and not including the team in meeting. He said he could meet with whoever he wanted to meet with. How is this blatant exclusion not investigated by Jerry Smith.
Nobody questions if Joe Whalen is a good coach, certainly nobody is calling him a Joe Montano, Jeff Jasper or Dawn Karpell. But he has certainly proved he is more than capable. But it’s his character and behavior, that makes it shameful a young coach would lose her job to someone like a Joe Whalen after being so successful. Over the last two days I have spoken to 4 parents. During Joe Whalen time at St Rose, parents felt he was abusive and down right vindictive. There is no bigger example of their dislike of there time with Joe Whalen than this. Just about every player on his championship no longer speak to him, with the exception of a few. But here is what one of the few parents who still speak to him, still today said
“He liked my daughter, she could do no wrong in his eyes. But I am not just about my daughter. I worried about all those kids. Some of the things he did and said to the other girls was wrong and concerned everyone. One player he made a personal target. He hurt a lot of kids” Parent speaking about Joe Whalen
Why you ask, why would Coach Whalen be so hated by his former players and parents. Maybe it’s because he thought it was ok to talk about 16 year old girls skin complexion and pimples. I’m not the person to go into the psyche of teenage girls, but commenting about HS girl’s skin is freaking weird and disgusting. Maybe he thought using the word ‘fucking” as the first name of a player was acceptable. Now I get me judging bad language is a bit hypocritical but I would like to think I never use these words to demean a little girl. How much does this “fucking” family dislike him today? When this player came to Academic Elite to support two of her teammates, coach Whalen decided he would pay for her to attend. When her dad arrived to pay. He was told Coach Whalen had paid for her. He refused to allow Whalen to pay saying these words “I would never want him to do anything for my daughter.” They like just almost everyone else refuses to speak with Coach Whalen these days for good reason.
Joe Whalen was a longtime friend of Dr Louro. It was Dr. Louro who put out the many fires that Whalen created. Dr. Louro has a reputation for helping people. He is somebody who will do anything for anyone. I simply don’t know a better man. It was he on many occasions who could get Coach Whalen to behave and do things in a correct manner. He was the only person Joe Whalen appeared to listen to or respect. So he was in shock by the treatment of his daughters by Joe Whalen. Neither of Dr. Louro’s children will speak to Coach Whalen, these days. Transfer Jess Louro was becoming All State and Hoop Group Player of the year. Coach Whalen did all he could to make her life a living hell. In the end it didn’t matter she went on to Middle Tennessee WITHOUT HIS HELP and became a starter on a great team. Whalen did have one final slap in the face for Jess Louro. While she was named first team All State and 1st Team All Shore, he chose not to name her MVP of the team. Furthermore another example of the Vindictiveness.
When I spoke to a parent today about her daughters time at St Rose. She could not conduct a conversation. The current D1 players mother started to cry on the phone. She said those were the worse years of her life and not sure how the family got though the days. She said they just prefer to never hear the name Joe Whalen ever again.
Ellyn Stoll had to wake up at 4.30 am in order to get to St. Rose and shoot on the gun in the mornings. As her father says “There was nothing opitional about this”. Stoll who was on a brilliant AAU team that she enjoyed playing with was forced to quit her team and play on JOE WHALEN’s high school AAU team. As the family said “we had No choice, they would’ve been real consequences if she didn’t play on that team, we knew this” Ellyn Stoll plays D1 basketball as the starting guard for NJIT these days. Joe Whalen pretends he had a hand in that accomplishment. Truth is he did nothing and if anything didn’t believe she was D1. Yet pretends he had a hand in her recruiting. How bad was her time at St Rose? Here parents kept a diary of Coach Whalen’s behavior and still have it to this very day.
When Joe Whalen knew he was going to be the next coach at St. Thomas Aquinas he went right back to disgraceful ways. He called a D1 player’s father from New York and asked her dad if she would attend Saint Thomas Aquinas. He also told the dad he could an asst. coach and her daughter would go to school for free. How do I know this? Because this mega superstar is a NBS kid and her father sent me the entire text conversation.
Let’s not forget when Coach Whalen again showed his loyal ways. Immaculate Conception picked him up off the street and gave him yet another chance to fly right. But Joe Whalen stayed one season and thought he had a better deal. He was to be part of a group to start a new basketball academy. So before they were even off the ground he reached to a talented player. What he didn’t know was I had already spoken to players mom and her coach. Two things happen, one the player said no thanks and the the basketball academy never got off the ground and Joe Whalen was once again without a job. Immaculate Conception has still haven’t hired a replacement, but for some strange reason Coach Whalen did not return to his old job… he was back on the street. Maybe they didn’t want him back or maybe he didn’t want to return. The bottom line is that once again there was drama following Joe Whalen.
When Justine Pissott was in 8th grade Joe Whalen spent night and day trying to convince her to attend St.Rose. What he didn’t know, I had told her father all about Joe Whalen. Today Joe Whalen will not speak to Jim Pissott another example of him showing his true colors. He pretended all along he liked Pissott. But the truth is he only cared about her, if she attended St. Rose..
When he tired to convince Roselle Catholic and future D1 player Tori Pozsonyi (Colgate) to transfer to St. Rose in her senior year. He did not know I told Tori “you go to St. Rose and I will never speak to you again” No coach has been More blatant than Joe Whalen when it comes to recruiting. Maybe this is why Jerry Smith thinks he’ll be a great fit.
When Joe Whalen wore out his welcome at St. Rose. He applied for an asst coaching job at. Georgian Court, University. Head Coach Jazz called me and asked my thoughts. I asked her if “she had lost her mind”. I told her he has a toxic personally and will undermine her every step of the way. She didn’t listen to me. Then one night I received a phone call from Coach Jazz, she said and I quote “I should have listened to you, I fired Whalen” She didn’t just fire him, she kicked him off the bench at half time. I am pretty sure that’s a first at the college level. Whalen didn’t make it halfway through the season. Coach Jazz said he pouted and couldn’t understand his high school drills were not advanced enough for college and Coach Whalen didn’t want to learn… surprise.. surprise.
Now if wondering how Joe Whalen keeps getting job after job after wrecking havoc everywhere he goes, it easy. Nobody sells themself and twist history like Joe Whalen. Take this quote after he fired, resigned or whatever you want to call it at St. Rose:
“It’s been five years and I’ve had a great run,” Whalen told NJ Advance Media on Thursday. “If you look at my resume, it’s time for another challenge.” Coach Joe Whalen
Folks Joe Whalen left St. Rose because he had to leave St. Rose. But like always Joe Whalen, twisted everything to fit his narrative. It’s the way Joe Whalen has always conducted business. He has his standard lines like ” I know the Spurs head coach, I went to their training camp, I will help you get better and go D1. First you have to understand college coaches all know Joe Whalen is, excuse my language full of crap. Like when his former asst Raheim Carter became the head coach at St. Rose. He stopped speaking to him and treated him with no respect. I saw Raheim and he told me Joe Whalen gave him no support and it seemed to everyone he rooted against his former loyal asst.
It’s same reason he has destroyed and ruined every AAU team he had been part of. He divides and conquers, meaning he takes care of a small group of kids, wins there loyality and mistreates the rest of the team. It’s why every AAU team he has coached has broken up, some even during the season. It’s been this way with every AAU team he has coached and why they never asked him to return. Yet folks keep hiring him, because Joe Whalen can sell ice to eskimos. Recently Joe Whalen was going to Coach an CJ HAWK Team. Certainly everyone in that organization knows his history. But here he was once again getting another chance with other AAU team. Sarah Hughes was considering playing for Whalen. I told her don’t do it. He is going walk out on you, just watch. Well she got lucky, because she decided to play for the ShoreShots and Whalen quit before his AAU team got started
When Joe Whalen coached the Shore Shots he wanted his team to attend his summer camp. But the players wanted to attend the NBS Camp which was the same week. Joe Whalen got upset and started yelling at Tracey Sabino. I saw this and jumped all over his ass. I told him he was bullying a female. Afterward he said I embarrassed him in front of his team. Well Joe Whalen has been embarrassing people his entire career.
So this is where we are today, a coach who has more lives than a cat, survives yet again to live another day at the expense of a young coach with no means to fight back. Here is a man replacing a young lady finding her way in coaching. Here is a man that has more jobs than anyone can count. Here is somebody, who has learned to game the system. Many question his character and ethics. Nobody ever questioned Coach Griffin’s character or ethics and she still won and she won big. She is at the start of her career, where as Whalen has had more chances than any coach has a right to have. The entire thing surrounding Coach Griffin’s firing to Joe Whalen hiring, stinks to high heaven. But Brittney Griffin, is a female and in a time of women empowerment, she will be just fine… I CANNOT SAY THAT FOR Saint Thomas Aquinas, who should be ashamed of themselves. They chose not to educate but rather to eliminate… that should not be there mission. This is girls basketball, not the NBA. This was a total disgrace and everyone should make there voice heard.