Mentor, Second Father, Coach: The Legacy of Warren Wolf
I was getting ready to broadcast the Wall-Rumson game Friday when I received a text that Warren Wolf had passed away.
I knew he had been hospitalized during the week but heard he was in good spirits and naturally I thought he’d pull through because he’s Warren Wolf and he always pulls through. However, even the legendary Coach Wolf could not beat Father Time, an opponent who turned out to be too formidable and prevailed at age 92.
I did not say "lost" for a reason because I know Coach believes he still has many more games to play just on a different field.
There is a generation who will never truly know the magnitude of what Wolf meant to not only Brick Township High School but the town itself. When he arrived as the first football coach in the summer of 1958 Brick was more like a “piney town” and not the booming municipality of 75,000 it is today.
In that first fall, the Green Dragons went 4-4 but two years later came the first of eight undefeated seasons and an era of greatness had begun. More than anything Wolf put Brick on the map and he did the same for Shore Conference football which was virtually ignored by anyone north of the Raritan River.
Brick and later Toms River High School earned respect state-wide for the shore with impressive victories “up north” which really opened eyes and would help football flourish in Ocean and Monmouth counties.
The numbers speak for themselves: only three losing seasons in 51 at Brick where he compiled a record of 361-122-11 which included 25 Shore Conference divisional titles and six NJSIAA Sectional championships. In some cases even more impressive was the 3-7 season Wolf had when he took over the floundering Lakewood program for one year in 2010.
However, the true legacy of Warren Wolf is the boys who became men under him, many of whom would later coach by his side and until the day he died thought of him as a “second father.” The countless lives he influenced and impacted and still does today. It’s a number that is many times higher than his career win total and a number that in the end is much more meaningful.
Warren Wolf has left us but if you believe like he does then you know he has not coached his last game and they better get ready for him and his grey suit up above.