Jim Sharples was named Jackson Liberty’s head football coach Tuesday night by the Jackson Township Board of Education, district athletic director Mike Walsh said Wednesday morning.
Sharples succeeds the late Tim Osborn, who died suddenly on April 13. Osborn had been Jackson Liberty’s only head coach since the school opened in 2006. Sharples had been an assistant to Osborn all six of the Lions’ varsity seasons, including the last five as defensive coordinator, Walsh said.
“Considering everything that’s happened, this was the best choice for the kids, everyone in the building and everyone in the community,” Walsh said. “He will bring consistency. He knows the kids and the coaching staff will stay intact.”
Jackson Liberty went 6-4 in 2012 for its first winning season and qualified for the NJSIAA playoffs for the first time. The Lions went 23-37 under Osborn, who was a three-year varsity player at Brick from 1974-76 for legendary former coach Warren Wolf, an assistant coach to Wolf at Brick from 1982-99 and an assistant coach at Toms River North from 2000-05.
Also, Chris Damian, an assistant coach at Monmouth University the last 10 seasons, was named Keansburg High School’s head football coach Tuesday night by the Keansburg Board of Education, athletic director Tom Stark said Wednesday afternoon.
Damian, a 2003 Monmouth graduate, was the Hawks’ running backs/special teams/video coordinator.
Kmak coached Keansburg to a 44-57 record, including a 10-2 season in 2007, when the Titans advanced to the NJSIAA Central Group I championship game.
Keansburg went 4-5 in 2012 and qualified for the NJSIAA playoffs for the first time since 2007.