Cranford Resident Brian Chapman Receives National Recognition as Millburn's Head Baseball Coach

2015 Group 4 state championship baseball team Millburn Millers and Coach Brian Chapman. Credits: Coach Brian Chapman

CRANFORD, NJ - Cranford resident and Millburn High School Head Baseball Coach, Brian Chapman, has spent the majority of his life in and around Union County; from his early years growing up in both Clark and Garwood, through his attendance at Union Catholic, coaching at Kean University, Cranford High School and raising a family for over a decade now in Cranford. Although, just last month, the spotlight he received was on a much larger level, nationally in fact.

In July, Chapman received the news that he was being named the American Baseball Coaches Association High School Division II National Coach of the Year. The Association only recognizes 11 coaches from all over the country in both the high school and collegiate ranks.

Years dedicated to playing, learning and coaching got Chapman to this point of national recognition, where he is humbled by the honor and shares it with many others, "The award is a tribute to our whole high school staff as well as all of the volunteer coaches involved. We have four Cranford residents (Dave and Chris Drechsel; Joe and Joey Kropa) on staff and they are all tremendous baseball men. The Drechsels played for Coach Dennis McCaffery and I at Cranford and the Kropas were a father (head coach) and son (player) tandem at Roselle Catholic," Chapman said.

Sign Up for E-News

After just five years head coaching the Millburn High School Baseball program, Chapman was able to capture the school's first ever state championship title this year and its first appearance since 1998. 

But while Chapman's baseball career at Millburn just recently started, he began his love of the game years ago as a kid in the Garwood and Clark Little League programs. 

In 1999, Chapman began assisting Head Cranford High School Baseball Coach Dennis McCaffery and notes that experience as one of the best, "I learned a lot coaching with Dennis. In my opinion, he is at the top of the list not only for high school baseball coaches, but for all sports. He is the best in the business and I was very fortunate to learn from him."

Chapman shared that he was very happy working in Cranford and would had left his job for very few head coaching opportunities, and Millburn was one on the short list. It was not only the challenge that attracted him but in his words, "the supportive community, much like Cranford".

When asked what his initial goals were when taking over the Millburn head coaching position, he comments, "Our first goal was to change the culture a bit. The kids in the program had suffered through a few losing seasons and we wanted to change their mindset. Having coached in the state's premier public school program at Cranford for so long, we had an idea of what a winning program looked like from the inside and we set out to instill the same things at Millburn."

And when Chapman is not refining his coaching craft on the high school level, he is very involved with the Cranford Baseball/Softball League (CBSL). As an active member of the CBSL Board and assistant coach for his son's 11U team, Chapman stays quite busy yet very grounded.

Chapman’s father passed away during the Spring baseball season at the height of Millburn’s run to States, helping Chapman keep things into perspective and focused, he notes, “My father was a great man who taught me the importance of simple things like working hard and being kind. There were many times during our state tournament run that I was able to achieve perfect clarity in some pretty tough situations. I am pretty sure he was there with me during these times, guiding me through like he always did.”






TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Plainfield Police, Union County SWAT Team Negotiate Surrender After Almost 6-Hour Standoff

May 17, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ — The Union County SWAT Team and a member of the Plainfield Police Division were able to successfully negotiate a peaceful surrender with a man who had holed up in a Plainfield home for nearly six hours from Wednesday night into early Thursday morning.

Patrol units from the Plainfield Police Division responded to a home in the 1400 block of Coolidge Street ...

Lawson-Muhammad Apologizes For 'Irrational Response' To Police Altercation; School Board President Supports Her

May 18, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -  A day after video surfaced of her altercation with a South Orange police officer -- in which she used profanity, threatened to go to the village president and called the police chief “a skinhead cop” -- South Orange Maplewood School Board member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad issued an apology in which she called her behavior “uncharacteristic” and ...

Bee Day at Hanson Park!!

May 19, 2018

Please join the Hanson Park Conservancy on Saturday, June 23rd for Bee Day at Hanson Park!  At 2:00 PM Grant Stiles from Stiles Honey will be sharing his knowledge of bees with his presentation, “Fundamentals of Beekeeping and the Importance of Honey Bees in Our Society.”  Bring your blankets and chairs and enjoy the beautiful surroundings as Mr. Stiles answers all of your ...

Cranford Police Blotter: Disorderly Conduct Arrest & More

May 16, 2018

The information provided does not represent the total scope of police activity. Individuals charged as a result of police investigations are merely an accusation. All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

1. 05/08/2018 4:10 p.m.

Myrtle Street and Baltimore Avenue

Arrested: Keyne Dasilva, 21, South Amboy

Arrested by: Ptl. Christopher Gross

Charges: Possession ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, May 23, 7:00 PM

The Cranford Hotel (sponsored by Calvary Lutheran Church), Cranford

Beer & Bible

Religions And Spirituality

Fri, June 1, 8:00 AM

Royce Brook Golf Club, Hillsborough Township

Liam's Room 5th Annual Charity Golf Outing

Giving Back Sports


Fri, June 1, 5:00 PM

Cranford Elks, Cranford

Spaghetti Dinner and Tricky Tray to Benefit Relay ...

Food & Drink

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...

'The Sting' with Harry Connick Jr. Slithers and Shakes at Paper Mill

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and Chicago.  Scott Joplin’s music is intertwined with the show, especially “The ...

Mayor Charles Lombardo about Petro/Casale Cleanup

May 14, 2018

To my fellow Garwood residents:

While a resident has recently raised concerns about air quality at the Petro/Casale cleanup site, I assure you the developer has complied with all state and federal regulations and there are no air quality issues.  I understand the concerns about this matter, however, they need to be addressed by licensed professionals who are qualified to answer them, not ...