After one of the most successful seasons in the history of South Brunswick High School football, head coach Rick Mantz will be stepping down from the job. Mantz resigned earlier this week due to health concerns.
“I really tried to figure out a way to make it work,’’ Mantz told NJ.com. “But I have to take care of some health issues and some family things."
Mantz and SBHS Athletic Director Elaine McGrath could not be immediately reached for comment. Mantz, who will remain at SBHS as dean of students, according to NJ.com, said he would not be leaving for another coaching job and hopes to return to the sidelines one day.
The South Brunswick High School football team didn't end its season in the state championship game, but it did finish as
Six days after being defeated in the Central Jersey Group IV semifinals, South Brunswick ended its season with a 28-18 win over North Brunswick.
In two separate stints as SBHS head coach, Mantz compiled 31-11 record. Overall, he owns a 112-50 career record in 16 seasons as a head coach at both SBHS and Hillsborough High School.
Mantz also groomed several of his players who went on to make it to the NFL, including Shaun O'Hara (New York Giants), Shawn Mayer (New England Patriots), Jared Jones (Philadelphia Eagles), and in April by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Last year, Mantz spoke of the joy he felt as a head coach watching his former players move on to the highest levels of football.
"Obviously this is something we take a lot of pride in, but we can't take all the credit because these are not just talented athletes but great people," Mantz said last year aftercommitted to play for Rutgers University. "This is something colleges are aware of, the fact that these are also great young men. It says a lot about the talent and the work that people like . We're doing things the right way and giving kids an opportunity to sign scholarships at places like Rutgers."
Mantz had a significant impact at all levels of South Brunswick football, from the high school down to the Pop Warner, according to Rodriguez.
"We watched some lean years of South Brunswick High School football and when (Mantz) came into town in 2007 that all changed and that's not a coincidence," "He integrated his program throughout Pop Warner and middle school, so the program is in place from start to finish for these kids. It tells you everything you need to know when (Mantz) is at our games from start to finish, and for the kids to see the coach of the high school team at their game during the season, when they're ranked top ten in the state, is special."