STAFFORD TOWNSHIP — At the Southern Regional Board of Education regular meeting on October 9, Superintendent Craig Henry announced that the Board of Education approved a resolution which dedicates the basketball court in the 9/10 building’s gymnasium in honor of former basketball coach Jim Ruhnke. 

Ruhnke arrived at Southern in 1973 after coaching three years at Piscataway High School.  Ruhnke coached for 20 years with a career record of 371-192.

He had a positive impact on many lives with his tough and intense style of coaching. He was greatly respected by rival coaches and programs.  Ruhnke was inducted into the Southern Regional Hall of Fame in 1996. Ruhnke is a member of the NJSIAA Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 1992. 

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A court dedication ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 3, during halftime of the varsity basketball team’s contest against Shore Conference Class A South rival Toms River East. During the ceremony, several individuals are expected to speak, including Ruhnke, and thereafter the court will be known as the Jim Ruhnke Basketball Court. Many of Ruhnke's former players are expected to be in attendance. 

Southern has honored its great coaches in the past by dedicating the football field to Ron Emmert. The 11-12 basketball court is dedicated former Southern's girls basketball coach Kathy Snyder, who died suddenly in 2014 at the young age of 58.