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  • Writer's pictureThe Hammonton Gazette

St. Joseph hires Ron Dorsey as new head football coach

Courtesy photo St. Joseph Academy football coach Ron Dorsey.

HAMMONTON—On November 28, St. Joseph Academy (SJA) announced that Ronald Dorsey will become its next head football coach.

Dorsey has been under the tutelage of Coach Paul Sacco for the past three years as a member of his football staff and served as the architect of the highly-ranked Wildcat defense this season. Dorsey currently works at the St. Joseph Academy in the Office of Student Services.

“It is with great enthusiasm and confidence that St. Joseph Academy welcomes Mr. Ron Dorsey as our new head football coach. Mr. Dorsey has proven, in both his time at St. Joseph Academy and in my conversations with him, that he is a person of the highest character and integrity who cares deeply about our student-athletes. He is committed to their well-being and success in the classroom, on the field and in life beyond St. Joseph Academy.” SJA President Stephen Cappuccio said in a release.

He said the school performed a search and received applicants from outside the high school.

“We put the search out and we did get number of applicants. It just so happened that the right one fell into our lap. Watching Ron work with the students in the school and on the field, it made sense for Saint Joe Academy,” Cappuccio said.

Dorsey’s character helped SJA make the decision for the new coach.

“What attracted us to Ron, he is an authentic man of character. I think he has a special relationship with the students especially our student athletes who play football. I am excited for him and for the kids,” Cappuccio said.

The school president said that the new coach follows the school’s values of Faith, Family and Future.

“I think Ron shares the same values as our mission—Faith, Family and Future. He is excited about where Saint Joe is heading and he wants to make football part of that as does the school,” Cappuccio said.

Dorsey is looking forward to serving as the head football coach.

“It is an honor to be named the head football coach of St. Joseph Academy. I am eternally grateful to both SJA President Stephen Cappuccio and the SJA Board of Trustees for having the confidence in me to lead this program. St. Joseph Academy is a very special place and I look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence that Coach Sacco has established with this amazing group of student-athletes, coaches, and staff,” Dorsey said in a release.

Dorsey, a Hammonton native, attended Hammonton High School. He was a part of multiple state championship teams in ‘93, ‘94 and ‘96. He is a Hammonton High School Hall of Famer for both football and baseball. Along with his multiple rushing records and the “Old Grad” title (Given out to best athlete in Atlantic County), Dorsey was drafted by the Florida Marlins out of high school.

“Replacing a legend like Coach Sacco will be no easy task, but Ron’s ability to connect with young people and the way he coaches young men set him apart as we went through our search process. I can’t wait to see how the culture created by these remarkable student-athletes continues to grow under Coach Dorsey and his staff,” SJA Director of Athletics Timothy Fingerhut said in a release.

Dorsey said he wanted to “carry on the tradition at St. Joe.”

“I think it was having a conversation with my father. And he said ‘God, doesn’t mistake. God put you in this position for a reason. I think that made me believe I could do this. I talked to Coach Sacco. He gave me his blessing. The kids too. I want to stay here for those guys. I want to carry on the tradition for them. I want to be here for them … “It is the same traditions but a new era,” Dorsey said on November 28 moments after being told he received the position.

Dorsey has been with St. Joe for three years, but has more than 20 years in education and more than a dozen years in coaching, specifically with the Hamilton Knights.

“I am just really excited,” Dorsey said.

The new head coach said that the sport of football helps its athletes prepare for their future.

“Football teaches you about life. It just builds you and prepares you for everyday life. When life gets tough and things aren’t going your way, you have to keep going, you have to fight,” Dorsey said.

He said he learned under Hammonton Hawks Coach Gregg Silvesti and former HHS Coach Pete Lancetta.

“I am happy I grew up in that era and in the town of Hammonton. This town means a lot to me.

They made me who I am today. I am grateful for who I am today,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey and his wife live in Mays Landing and have three children. His daughter is a freshman at St. Joseph Academy.

He said his wife was very supportive of the decision.

The St. Joseph Academy Community would like to thank Coach Paul Sacco for 42 years of service, the release said.

His students, and most importantly his past and present players, can attest to his commitment to high school football and to St. Joseph Academy, the release said.

“Coach Sacco is the embodiment of servant leadership and St. Joseph Academy’s mission of Faith, Family and Future. Coach Sacco’s legacy will endure the test of time, and the entire St. Joseph Academy has an immeasurable amount of gratitude for Coach Sacco, Mrs. Sacco and the entire Sacco family,” Cappuccio said.

Sacco coached his final SJA game on November 23.

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