Glenn Howard has told Paulsboro High School athletic director John Giovannitti that he is stepping down as head football coach after the team’s Central Jersey Group 1 section final against Salem on November 20.
He told Giovannitti that he would write an official retirement letter in the next few days, but with each passing, Giovannitti hoped Howard would change his mind.
The day Giovannitti wished not to arrive arrived Monday as Howard officially ended one of the greatest coaching careers in state history, closing the book in a 35-year series that included 316 victories at his alma mater and 14 sectional championships.
âIt was sad,â Giovannitti said. âPart of me said you can’t leave us, you have too many years in you to train. You have more children to influence, but everything must come to an end.
Paulsboro was a juggernaut under Howard, a 1977 alumnus, particularly in the 1990s where he won six straight sectional titles from 1992 to 1997, and also produced a state record of 63 straight wins.
The Raiders went 9-2 last season but fell to Salem in a thriller, 13-12, in the section championship.
Victories and defeats were not on Giovannitti’s mind, however. They pale in comparison to Howard’s impact on his players, Paulsboro, and South Jersey football as a whole.
âThe legacy he left in his profession is unparalleled,â said Giovannitti. âI cannot tell you how much he is respected by our community and by our children. He demanded a lot, but you never saw him raise his voice, he never cursed, he was only a first class gentleman from day one.
The community came out to congratulate Howard after the news broke.
âCongratulations on this great career! Tweeted Rob Hinson, former Timber Creek coach and current Rutgers player personnel analyst. âCoach Howard is a trailblazer for many of us, especially the black coaches here at SJ! Much love, respect and admiration for one of the greatest to ever do this!
âI went against Coach Howard as a player and a coach,â Salem coach Montrey Wright said on Twitter. “He’s definitely one of the greatest to ever do this !!”
“His teams cost me a conference championship as a player and coach,” Collingswood coach Mike McKeown tweeted. âHe’s a legend as a coach but most of all as a human being. It was always a pleasure talking to the greatest of all time. Enjoy your retirement Coach Howard.
Giovannitti isn’t sure how Paulsboro will go about replacing Howard, but that wasn’t his concern Monday night. He was simply grateful that he had been with Howard and Paulsboro for more than three decades.
âPeople come back to see him and he’s invited to weddings,â Giovannitti said. âHe had the second generation where he trained the sons of children. I think those are the kinds of things that are special, the positive light he has cast on our community. “
Josh Friedman has produced award-winning sports coverage of South Jersey for the Courier Post, the Daily Journal and the Burlington County Times for more than a decade. If you have or know an interesting story to tell, contact us on Twitter at @ JFriedman57 or by email at email@example.com. You can also contact him at 856-486-2431. Help support local journalism with a subscription.