Donald “Ozzie” Osbourne knows full well the significance of following in the legendary footsteps – and vocal cords – of his former coach, Jay Mahoney.

Osbourne has been hired as Bogota’s boys basketball coach, succeeding a father figure who led the program for 43 seasons and to more than 700 wins, two Bergen County Jamboree titles and a state crown.

“Going to coach where I played, and going to coach where he coached, it’s an honor,” Osbourne said Wednesday.

Osbourne, 50, is a veteran educator and coach in Bergen County. He is dean of students at Hackensack. For a decade, he coached girls and boys basketball at Dwight Morrow. He spent the past four seasons as men’s basketball coach at Bergen Community College.

Donald "Ozzie" Osbourne, shown here coaching Dwight Morrow, will return to his alma mater to serve as Bogota's boys basketball coach, succeeding his former coach, Jay Mahoney.

“He’s going to care about the kids in school, he’s going to care about their grades, he’s going to care about how they act outside of school,” Mahoney said. “He’s going to do a terrific job with basketball, there’s no doubt about it.”

Osbourne, who recently moved back to Bogota, credits Mahoney for helping him grow from a troubled teen into a mature adult