2022 Shore Football Coaches Foundation Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award: Rich Mosca
Rich Mosca embodies the term "football lifer" better than nearly anyone else so it is only fitting that as part of the 2022 All-Shore Gridiron Classic, the Shore Football Coaches Foundation Hall of Fame is recognizing Mosca with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mosca's career as a player and coach spans parts of seven different decades and has taken him from the high school level to Division 1 and Division 3 college football. He's been a head coach, an assistant coach, a program builder, and a valued caretaker. He's seen it all in his 51 years coaching football in New Jersey.
Two years out of college, Mosca was hired as an assistant coach at Keyport High School under Tom Karlo in 1970 and also coached under George Conti Jr. in 1971 and 1972. Mosca then became the head coach in 1973 and through the 1975 season led the Red Raiders, including an 8-3 record and the Shore Conference Class D division title in 1975. The following year, a new high school in Monmouth County needed a head football coach and Mosca was hired for the job. That school was Middletown South, and for the next nine seasons, Mosca would lay the foundation upon which the Eagles would later blossom into one of the most successful programs in Shore Conference history. In 1981, Middletown South had its first big season by going 8-3 and reaching the Central Jersey Group 4 championship game.
Following the 1984 season, Mosca stepped down and took a job as the offensive coordinator at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He stayed in that role for four seasons through 1988 before heading back to the Shore Conference.
Mosca was the defensive coordinator at Monmouth Regional in 1989 and was then hired as the head coach prior to the 1990 season. He spent the next five seasons leading the Falcons and helped the team rebound from consecutive winless seasons in 1988 and 1989. His teams won at least three games every season, including going 5-4 in both 1991 and 1995. College came calling again, however, and in 1996 Mosca returned to the collegiate ranks as an assistant at Monmouth University under head coach Kevin Callahan. He spent the next four seasons in West Long Branch where he coached the tight ends, running backs, and offensive line, and was a special teams assistant and a recruiter.
After the 1999 season, Mosca returned to Fairleigh Dickinson. He was the offensive coordinator in 2000 and 2001 before becoming the team's head coach for the 2002 season. He shepherded the program for the next 10 seasons and during that tenure was awarded the Maddy Award for service and decision to FDU in 2006 and also honored for contributions to the FDU Athletic Department.
Mosca retired from FDU following the 2011 season and returned to Monmouth Regional High School as the team's defensive coordinator. On the day training camp started in 2013, Mosca was named Falcons head coach for a second time. His second stint in Tinton Falls lasted through the 2016 season. He was then an assistant for one season each at Red Bank Regional (2017) and Neptune (2018) before joining Jerry Schulte's staff at Rumson-Fair Haven. From 2019 through 2021, Mosca was part of a tremendous RFH staff as a defensive line coach and helped the Bulldogs go 21-9 and reach two NJSIAA state sectional championship games.
Mosca played football and baseball at Red Bank Regional High School from 1962 through 1965. He was a guard and linebacker at Concord College in West Virginia in 1966 when the team went 9-1 and captured the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship. A knee injury ended his playing career in 1968 when he was attending West Liberty State College.
In addition to coaching, Mosca is a proud veteran of the United States Army Reserve in which he served from 1970 through 1976. He was a teacher at Henry Hudson Regional High School and Keyport High School before teaching history for 24 years at Middletown South before his retirement in 2000.