When Kevin Quinn was announced as Cresskill’s new head football coach last December, he said he was merely “a caretaker” for all that his legendary predecessor, Bob Valli, had built.
Well, the caretaker did a rather outstanding job.
Despite all the pressure that goes along with replacing a local legend, Quinn led the Cougars, who weren’t considered a preseason favorite, to a 9-3 record. They won a share of the NJIC Meadowlands Division title, earned the top seed in a competitive North 1, Group 1 and reached the title game at MetLife Stadium for the first time in 13 years.
That’s why Quinn is The Record Football Coach of the Year.
“Going through my first year, I have a lot more respect for guys who have been doing this for a long time,” Quinn said. “You have to be aware of all things. It was a lot more work, but it’s good work.”
Quinn inherited a team that had lost some talented players after a disappointing first-round exit from the playoffs. He wasted no time putting his mark on the team, and, in the days leading up to the 20-0 loss to Verona in the title game, several players expressed gratitude for the way that Quinn pushed them since preseason camp began in August.
“Coach Quinn pushed us to another level,” said senior lineman A.J. Gentile. “We saw what happens when everyone works hard.” “It was more of a challenge,” Quinn said. “I told them that being OK wasn’t enough. I told them all along that we didn’t want to be around mediocrity.”