Last month ED GURRIERI was hired as the head football coach at Wall High School, replacing Tony Grandinetti who was not rehired following a still unresolved hazing scandal that rocked the football program, school and community.

Photo by Bill Normile.
Photo by Bill Normile.
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Gurrieri was an ideal choice for the position at what has become one of New Jersey’s premier public school programs.  Wall won a state group title in 2019 (12-1) and was 7-0 in the COVID-shortened 2020 season and claimed the unofficial Shore Conference title while finishing #1 in the state.  This past season the Crimson Knights went 6-4 and finished #5 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 before their season was cancelled prior to a second-round playoff game which also cost them their traditional Thanksgiving Day matchup with rival Manasquan.

Gurrieri spent 13 years during two head coaching stints at Manalapan HS, the second covering 10 seasons (2010-19).  His Braves teams never had a losing season, won 5 Class “A North” titles, reached six NJSIAA sectional finals and won it all in 2014 (CJ5).  That season he was selected Central Jersey Coach of the Year by the New Jersey Football Coaches Association.  In 2019 he was inducted into the Shore Football Coaches Foundation Hall of Fame.

I sat down with Gurrieri to discuss his return as a head coach and the challenges he faces considering the circumstances at Wall.