There is a lot free time on my hands to think about fun topics. Today I have a great topic and we can all disagree, that makes it more fun. So who are the best coaches in the shore conference in the last 2 decades? Now I don’t go strictly by wins and losses but that has to play a major role. But I also want to know did that coach maximize their teams talent? Also did that coach build relationships with the players, parents and community. Because that goes to building a program. Longevity is also a big factor, because any coach can luck up and get a good player or two. Anyone can build a team for a year or two.. the question is can they build a program? These 5 coaches build programs and they are legendary for it. So here we go the Top 5 coaches in the past 2 decades….IN MY OPINION.
JOHN TURHAN- RED BANK REGIONAL
He is the Bill Parcells of girls high school basketball. He has turned more programs around than anyone in the history or high school basketball; boys or girls. He won a SCT and made a TOC appearance at Colts Neck high School and then walked away with his entire team returning…who does that? Only the great great ones, that’s who! He has won divisional championships at 4 different schools. Nobody has even come close to that. He has taken programs with no hope and made them powerhouses. RBR has now become a top program in the state and it’s all because of John Turhan. His ability to get his teams to play above their level of talent is legendary. No better example is his teams win over RBC last year, considered the biggest upset in SCT history. His Colts Neck’s team double overtime win in the SCT semi final over RFH is considered the best SCT game ever. No coach has done more with less over the years that JT…AKA the Bill Parcells of girls basketball.
JOHN BROWN- NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL
Somehow when we talk about the best coaches in Shore history we forget his name. All coach Brown has done here is win the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions title. Included in that resume is four Central Jersey Group III crowns. There are two Group II state championships. There are three Shore Conference Tournament titles. There are seven outright Class B North crowns. There are three Class B North co-championships. A national ranking as high as 6th in the country. There are six Christmas tournament titles. He also coached the best team in Shore history during the Shakena Richardson, Sy Davis years. A team that did not lose a shore conference game in two years. He has done all this while having private schools steal his players, it seems every year. But he never complains, he just coaches the kids given to him and wins. John Brown is one of the best in the business and it’s time we start giving him props. His former players love him and respect him long after their playing days are over. He is not just a coach but a mentor…
DAWN KARPELL- ST. JOHN VIANNEY
I think it’s safe to say, she just may be #1 on this list before she is done. She has rebuilt the Roman Empire. SJV was dead in the water when she took over. Nobody thought anyone could bring the program back to life. Well we all know better these days. It’s a story when a Dawn Karpell is not in the SCT final. She has played in the champion game more than anyone including 5 straight running year. She won her 3rd SCT title this year. She has a TOC under her belt. She has already won 428 games in her career, while playing perhaps the best schedules in high school basketball in the entire country. Her players all move on to to college and become stars. Her players return always to support the program. She has developed a culture of success both on and off the court for her players. She turns little girls into alpha females and oh yeah..D1 mega stars. No coach gets the most out of her stars. She is already knocking on the MOUNT. RUSHMORE door of greatness.
GEORGE SOURLIS- RUMSON FAIR HAVEN
So way haven’t they named the floor after him at Rumson Fair Haven? Thats easy politics! Because no coach boys or girls has ever had more of an affect on a school or program. If not for George Soulis RFH would known for two things Barnacle Bills and nice big homes along the water. Sourlis retired with 653 wins, the most by any boys or girls coach and 199 losses. 14 NJSIAA sectional titles... yes that is not a miss print, five NJSIAA overall group titles along with five appearances in NJSIAA TOC title games. His track record most likely will never be matched by any boy or girls coach. Not once did he teams ever have the most talent in the Shore. But RFH made a name for players playing above their level of talent. He is the G.O.A.T. He will be forever known has the greatest defensive coach in NJ girls high school basketball history. He was responsible for making girls basketball matter in the shore conference…boys or girls. To put it to you bluntly….HE IS THE G.O.A.T and no name should ever be written across the RFH floor except one …GEORGE SOURLIS
JOE MONTANO- RED BANK CATHOLIC
He is the dean of girls basketball. Nobody can match what he has done on and off the court. He is revered by his current and former players. He has created a atmosphere others can only wish to part of. The kids who attend the program know they are different. College coaches respect this coach more than perhaps any coach in the entire country. His word is like gold to all those he speaks too. His track record of success is almost cartoonist… two Tournament of Champions titles, six Shore Conference Tournament championships, eight state championships and numerous divisional titles along the way. He has done all this without sacrificing his integrity or his program reputation. Just about every player who wears a RBC uniform goes on to play in college. They go to the best college in the country and basketball is not the main reason. He guides his players and teaches them to see beyond the jump shot. Joe Montano has built the YANKEES OF HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL.
REALLY THERE NOT ON THIS LIST…
LISA KUKODA- MANASQUAN... the best start to a career than any coach in Shore history…
TOM BRENNAN- MIDDLETOWN SOUTH- he has developed more players than anyone…takes what’s he is given and works his magic
JUSTIN McGHEE– a future mega star in the waiting