The Shore Conference is loaded with great Coaches. It’s a virtual whose who of girls basketball coaches. This year some coaches reached real milestones. George Sourlis became the winning-est coach in Shore history boys or girls. Dawn Karpell, Tom Brennan and John Turhan all reached their 300th win. John Turhan will be elected in the Hall of Fame this spring. Joe Whalen again proved he is one of the best coaches in the state, St. Rose is ranked nationally. The job that Brad Hagensen has done at Marlboro is amazing when you consider he was hired so late and the program had no direction ALL SUMMER. Marlboro won a STATE TITLE last night. No coach of the year list cannot include the professor himself Tom Brennan who won his 2nd State Tournament in a row last night. John Brown’s Neptune team has been ranked all year, nobody predicted that. Lisa Kokuda joined a small group of coaches by winning back to back SCT titles. The Shore Conference is not just about great players but great coaches as well. But what this years COACH OF THE YEAR has done is amazing and it not just about wins and loses…its was more about building and saving a program. 



Shannon Coyle did not win a state Championship this year. She did not win a divisional title this year. She did not have the player of the year this season. What she did do this year was put the finishing touches on a job she started two years ago. Long Branch High School won one game the year Shannon Coyle became the head coach. When she took over the Long Branch program they were called a laughing stock. There was little if any energy or hope in the program . Rare did you see them compete more or less win games. Shannon Coyle, has changed the entire culture of the Long Branch program from top to bottom.  She did with organization and commitment to year round communication with her team. She did it by making the families of girls take a part in the program. Shannon Coyle has just done one of the best coaching jobs in the past 10 years.


B6DliEtCQAEntDO.jpg-large-300x216 Long Branch, won its first Holiday Tourney in years

Long Branch prior to this season had won a total of 9 games in two years. This year Shannon Coyle team won 13 games and on paper that may not seem like a lot. But on further review we see one of the best coaching jobs….IN YEARS! Last year Long Branch lost 17 games but 20 points or more. Meaning they were blown out of just about every game. This year, Long Branch lost one game the entire season by 20 points and more importantly they beat 7 teams that beat them last year. They also beat the defending group 4 champs to start the season. They won they first holiday tournament, in god knows how long. Long Branch made it to the SCT folks and played in the state tournament. This alone  should make Shannon Coyle, Coach of the CENTURY, when you consider what she was up against.






The Long Branch program is now a school where girls can walk proud and it not just about wins and losses. It’s because now a winning culture has been brought  not only to the school but the entire community. One that includes working hard and having respect for school and the uniform they wear. Shannon Coyle is 100% responsible for all of this. Coyle has created a atmosphere where kids believe that basketball can now also be one of the means to get to college. Chekasha Andrews for example made the All Division and most likely will be All Shore. When is the last time a Long Branch player was all any thing?. Chekasha has a chance to play D1 basketball one day. Shannon Coyle helped her to shine this year and has been one of her biggest advocates. Shannon Coyle convinced a group of girls that hard work and vision can pay off. She got a group of girls to understand its okay to dream and have hopes on a basketball court…Shannon Coyle taught the Long Branch anything is possible. She made playing basketball not only important but something the entire community could be proud of  again.

B6Dnjg7CcAAWomS.jpg-large[1] Jr. Chekasha Andrews is looking forward to college

So how has Long Branch made this amazing jump in just two years? First you must go back to when Shannon Coyle was hired. Everyone on the AAU circuit knows Shannon Coyle. She coaches the powerhouse Central Jersey Cardinals senior team. Her teams played hard and against the best competition. She was able to convince star players to play as a unit. She has sent a number of kids on to the D1 level and they all swear by her support and guidance. Those are the exact qualities she brought to Long Branch High School. The first time I saw her after she took the job, I told her she was in for some rough times. She told me she first needed to get the parents on board and she needed them to trust her…she did all of that and more.  Then she told me she had to get her kids training and in the gym. I have seen more kids from Long Branch in the gym this year than I have in 15 years combined. Maybe this is why they had so much success in turning the image of the program around. Shannon Coyle has made Long Branch a place where younger kids in town now know they have a school where basketball matters and there is a REAL  basketball program. Remember Shannon Coyle didn’t out  recruit anyone to build her program…she did it with the hand she was dealt.

B51YSQVCcAEdSC7.jpg-large[1] Shannon Coyle program builder!

Sometimes it’s not about wins and losses, it about building and making kids believe that makes a great Coach. Shannon Coyle has taken a program that had hit rock bottom and has turned it into a real feel good story.  She did this by  winning  the respect of every single opponent Long Branch  faced this year; Something in the pass that rarely happened. Long Branch had so many first this season, it would take forever to list them. But gone are the days when the Long Branch would lost games by 4o and 50 points. Gone are the days when the opposing team knew they had a “win” before the ball was tossed up. Gone are the days when nobody in the Long Branch basketball family cared who won or lost. Now losing hurts and winning feel good. It was Shannon Coyle who brought all this to the Long Branch basketball family. She found a way to make her kids competitive and then she found a way to make them believe winning was possible. I am not sure anyone in my time has rejuvenated a program in such despair. It took a very brave person with a big reputation to take on the job of rebuilding Long Branch and she was that person and for this reason…..SHANNON COYLE IS THE HOOP GROUP 2015 COACH OF THE YEAR FOR THIS REASON.




What Marlboro High School did last night was nothing short of amazing. The entire shore community should give them a big tip of the hat.

SJV proved again the Shore is a different animal and last night they proved they are on a mission.

foos-200x300 FOOS clearly has a big future

While  Manasquan continues to march on to the TOC with overtime win over RFH...we got a little glimpse into RFH’s future. Sophomore Kaite Foos hit the game tying three, Freshman Tori Hyduke had 1o pints in the 4th quarter and future D1 post Sophomore Hannah Scanlon had 19 points…the RFH future looks very good folks…


Middletown South is just rolling right now…they won there 2nd straight state title after going 24 years without one…

St. Rose took out a good Rutgers Prep team on Monday and take on Roselle Cath tonight.

The downside to the State tournament is so many Shore teams knocked out shore teams. But one think is clear the shore is on a different level than any other conference






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