NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Attention Pioneer Faithful! There is a new sheriff in town, at least in the Athletic Office. Rocco Constantino, a former college assistant athletic director and longtime high school coach, was recently named New Providence High School’s new athletic director.
The longtime high school coach, turned college coach and administrator was officially approved at the August Board of Education meeting, but started work in early August.
“The process did happen really fast,” Constantino said. “From the time I interviewed to the time I was approved by the Board was less than two weeks. I think things happened really quickly. It was a little hectic, but the support here is great so it was a smooth transition.”
Constantino has 20 years of experience coaching at the high school and collegiate level, most recently spending 10 years at Bloomfield College as the head softball coach and assistant athletic director. New Providence is his first “athletic director” position at the high school level.
“I think the big difference that I’ve seen is people are coming to me more often for answers,” Constantino said. “Even as the Assistant AD at Bloomfield, I did a lot of things on my own but I still had to go to people answers, to get the final say on things. Over here, people are coming to me for answers. They need things. They need the support. At Bloomfield, I operated on my own, but here its more like a team situation. We’re all in this together.”
Prior to his stint at Bloomfield, Constantino coached various sports and levels at North Arlington High School, as well as his alma mater, Belleville High School. What has stuck out the most to Constantino is his first month and a half as a Pioneer, is the level of intensity that New Providence has.
“Everybody recognizes the reputation New Providence has, both in academics and athletics,” Constantino said. “The coaches all want to work together. The kids all want to work together. Everybody wants to live up to that reputation. There is a lot of pressure to win here, from what I can see. The coaches absolutely know what it takes to win and their preaching that to the kids. I think the kids take a lot of pride that they're from New Providence and they’re expected to win.”
Constantino’s position was posted in June after the unexpected resignation of former athletic director Robert Harmer. According to the Board of Education’s August meeting agenda, the athletic director’s contract was changed from a full year to 10 months, similar to that of a teacher.
Editor’s Note: This is the first of a series of stories related to the hiring of Rocco Constantino as athletic director at New Providence High School. Next week’s edition will dive into Constantino’s goals for this upcoming school year.