East Rutherford, NJ – The New York Giants and Gatorade have selected Mr. Jermain Johnson of Belleville High School (Belleville, NJ) as the Lou Rettino High School Coach of the Week for Week 5 of the 2019 season. Johnson's Belleville Buccaneers are 5-0 this season, after defeating Kearny 38-15 this week. Johnson is in his second season coaching the team, and last year's total of four wins (4-5) was Belleville's most in a decade.
The Lou Rettino High School Football Coach of the Week Award is part of the Giants' continuing effort to support local youth football programs. The Giants elected to name the award in memory of former Union High School (NJ) coach, Lou Rettino, for his fine commitment to the game of football, his community and the betterment of his athletes' lives. Each week during the high school football season, the Giants selected one area high school head coach as the Coach of the Week winner. The selection is based on the coach's continuing commitment towards promoting youth football, developing motivated student-athletes and his overall community involvement.
In recognition of Coach Johnson's selection as Coach of the Week, a $2,000 check will be granted to the school's football program from The Giants Foundation and Gatorade. He will also receive a certificate of recognition signed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, and will be acknowledged with an in-stadium announcement when the Giants host Dallas on November 4th. All 2019 Coach of the Week honorees and the 2019 Coach of the Year will also be invited to attend a dinner hosted by the Giants at MetLife Stadium in the Spring, and will be invited with their teams to a Giants preseason game in 2020.
Coach Johnson is in his second season as head coach of the Belleville Buccaneers. In his first season, Coach Johnson led to Buccaneers to a 4-5 season. In his second season, Coach Johnson has surpassed his win total from the prior season in just 5 games, starting the season 5-0. This has been the most wins for Belleville Football in a decade. Coach Johnson brought years of coaching experience to the Buccaneers. Coach Johnson began his coaching career by returning to his alma mater, the Montclair State University Redhawks, as an assistant for 3 years after playing Professional Football in the Arena League with the New Jersey Red Dogs. After Montclair State, Coach Johnson returned to his high school alma mater, Bloomfield High School where coach spent 8 years as an assistant for the Bengals. In 2009, Coach Johnson took a Head Coach position as Paterson East Side where he stayed for 3 seasons until 2012. Coach Johnson then became the defensive coordinator at Wayne Hills High School for 5 seasons, highlighted by a state sectional championship in 2016.
"Jermain is a great football coach who is passionate about the game and this program", commented Marcellino Marra, the Athletic Director at Belleville High School. "Coach Johnson takes pride in his program and in the community and he spreads that message to his student-athletes and students. Coach Johnson created a family atmosphere in the program and the program has responded to his efforts. What I see Coach Johnson and his staff do every day is inspiring, whether it be on the field or the classroom, Coach Johnson impacts his students and student-athletes lives daily. What is more inspiring is that he does it with a big smile his face, that is Jermain Johnson, his positivity is infectious. Coach Johnson also finds time for the Belleville community, volunteering his team for several community service projects, every day is a lesson with Coach Johnson and his staff".
On notification of his honor, Coach Jermain Johnson commented. "I would like to thank the Giants Foundation and Gatorade for such a prestigious honor. I am proud to represent the New Jersey Super Football Conference, the Belleville Schools District, the Belleville community, and the Belleville Football program. I am lucky to work with such a supportive board of education, administration, community members, and teaching staff. I am honored to work with such a great group of coaches and players. All of these groups that make up the Belleville Family share in this recognition. Thank you all."