Two rumored coaching hires seem to be going forth as expected as former Columbia University assistant Andrew Theokas is on the agenda to be approved as the new Marlboro boys basketball coach and Jeanene Healy is up to be approved as the new girls basketball coach at Colts Neck, according to the agenda for the Freehold Regional District Board of Education meeting scheduled for Monday.
Obviously, Healy is the more high-profile hire just given the fact that Colts Neck returns its entire lineup from a team that won the NJSIAA Group IV title and was the Tournament of Champions runner-up this past winter. An assistant at Howell under Bill Gallacher last season, she is the latest coach with AAU ties to get a head job in the Shore, as she is a coach for the Jersey Sting AAU team that is coached by Don Hampton, the father of star guard Brooke Hampton, a West Virginia recruit. Healy got the job over candidates like former Rumson boys head coach Jay Lagomarsino, who was a Manalapan boys assistant last season, former Marlboro assistant and college assistant Corey Cohen, and Colts Neck volleyball coach Glenn Jansen. She obviously has ties to Hampton, so you wonder if that put her over the top.
I guess the main question is whether Healy plans on sticking around for more than this season, as the Cougars will be starting from scratch after this group graduates.With the AAU pipeline, however, talent could always be quickly replenished with another young group of stars, which I suppose is also a possible scenario.
This team obviously has the potential to go back to the TOC after being led there by coach John Truhan, who stepped down and then took the head job at Central. I’ve heard plenty about this team being split into different factions among players and parents, so Healy’s biggest job may just be maintaining harmony on and off the court on a team loaded with talent and high expectations.
As for the Marlboro boys job, Theokas lives in New Jersey and formerly coached at Ocean County College, so he is familiar with this area and should be a good pick-up for the Mustangs. Unfortunately it didn’t get done until now so he didn’t really have the summer to work with his new team, but grabbing a college coach from an Ivy League program certainly should help. He has his work cut out for him as Class A North will be tough as usual with the likes of Christian Brothers Academy, Colts Neck, and Middletown South looking to be among the Top 5 in the Shore this coming season and a perennially winning program at Freehold Township that has to replace its top players. Marlboro has a good group of guards coming back, led by high-scoring swingman Andrew Goldstein.