Del Dal Pra Nick GiglioRed Bank Regional head football coach Nick Giglio (right, with RBR athletic director Del Dal Pra) has been named Coach of the Year by the Asbury Park Press.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

First he was named Football Coach of the Year. Then, Coach of the Season. Most recently, Red Bank Regional High School’s football head coach Nick Giglio was honored as Coach of the Year, among all area Shore Conference high school sports teams, by the Asbury Park Press.

In a development that he called “a total surprise and a total honor,” Giglio was formally presented with the award on June 13 by Giants football legend Eli Manning, during the annual Jersey Shore Sports Banquet.

In accepting the honor, Giglio was quick to mention that “every player knows it is a team award for us…for RBR. Without Del (RBR’s athletic director Del Dal Pra), our great players, dedicated coaches, our school and our terrific community, that would not have happened.”

Dal Pra selected Nick Giglio as RBR’s head football coach nearly eight years ago. He came to RBR when the football team had recorded only four wins in four seasons. Coach Giglio explains that he embarked on a plan with his assistant coaches to build a program…one that was “built to last,” and not designed only for short term success.

Adding night lights to the school’s field several years back (through the fundraising efforts of the RBR Athletic Foundation) definitely helped, as it gave the players an additional 45 minutes of practice time four days a week. This proved especially crucial this past season, as the team participated in sectional playoffs for the first time in twelve years.

Another boost to the team’s practice capabilities occurred when the Board of Education funded a spectacular new fitness center which opened this year; a facility far superior to the cramped weight room that the athletes had utilized for decades.

“These kids were a big reason why we have this fitness center now,” observed Coach Giglio. “They showed the Board that they were willing to put forth the effort to do this, and that they would benefit from having it.”

The highlight of Giglio’s career came when RBR clinched the Conference title following an 11-0 undefeated season; a feat that had last been achieved 40 years ago. While it was terribly disappointing that RBR couldn’t go all the way and win the state championship game against Rumson Fair Haven, Dal Pra observes that the magic of this season will reap many benefits in the future. For example, as athletic director, he visits sending school districts and other K-8 communities that have the choice to attend RBR, and he finds that the RBR brand has acquired a lot of shine.

And, while everyone admits that some very talented players graduated in June, Coach Giglio observes that next season’s players, who have experienced or seen what is possible, are already practicing hard to compensate for the talent that has left.

The major beneficiaries of the past year are of course the students who will now play college ball. Seven Class of 2016 graduates will continue their football careers on the collegiate level; several on very generous or full scholarships — something that rarely happened seven years ago.

“This is the cycle we want to foster,” Coach Giglio states, in reference to players like Garrett Sickles who have returned to the RBR campus to watch new players in action. “These kids go through high school and college, have a great career, and then come and give back.”