Sunday, March 20, 2016

Football: Parzero to be next head coach at Newton

After doing what was once thought to be impossible -- building North Warren's football program into a consistent winner -- Matt Parzero appears ready for a new challenge.

Parzero, according to sources, will be approved as the new head coach at Newton High School during Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting. Parzero succeeds Jim Rabbitt, who stepped down after guiding the Braves to a 16-35 mark the past five seasons.

Parzero, who also was the head wrestling coach at North Warren for four seasons until stepping down after the 2013-14 campaign, made his mark with the football program.

Parzero guided the Patriots to an overall record of 45-27 in seven seasons, including four sectional playoff appearances in the last five years. North Warren, which had made only one other postseason appearance in 1979, won its only postseason games in program history in 2012 and '13, when the Patriots reached the North 1, Group 2 semifinals.

After going 4-6 in his first season in 2009 -- inheriting a program that went 0-10 in '08 -- Parzero's teams finished with a winning record during the rest of his tenure, winning eight games in back-to-back seasons in 2012 and '13. The Pats went 7-3 in '15, while Newton went 4-6.

As the wrestling coach, Parzero's teams went 43-42 overall. Parzero is a Lenape Valley graduate and former wrestler, and he also played football there under legendary coach Don Smolyn.

Parzero will inherit a Newton program that has not produced a winning season in nearly two decades. Under Rabbitt, the Braves qualified for the sectional playoffs in 2013 for the first time since '00 and won one, something no team had done at the Sussex County school since 1984.

Quarterback Luke Young and running back Chase Cramer, who ran for 1,300 yards, will be the key returnees on offense for Parzero next fall.

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