SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- For 21 years, Steve Ciccotelli led the Scotch Plains-Fanwood football program before retiring in 2011. Now his brother, Mark, will be at the helm of the Raiders, as the SPFK12 school district announced the hiring of Mark Ciccotelli as head varsity football coach Thursday.
Ciccotelli, who replaces Jon Stack following his resignation in November, comes to Scotch Plains-Fanwood with a very successful résumé. In 14 seasons as a head coach, he has won three state championships -- all in the Central, Group 3 section -- and two additional titles as an offensive coordinator.
Ciccotelli brings with him an 84-65 lifetime record as a head coach, including two undefeated seasons as an offensive coordinator for powerful offenses (Middletown South ’01, Cranford ’15). He last coached at North Plainfield in 2016, where he finished his lone year at the school with a 3-7 record.
A highly respected coach within the state, Ciccotelli enters the varsity head coach position with much work to do. Scotch Plains-Fanwood has not won a regular season game in two years; SP-F’s only victories those seasons came in consolation games. The school finished each of the last two seasons with a record of 1-9, and has not qualified for the NJSIAA sectional playoffs since 2014. It has not had a winning record since 2007.
One of three brothers with extensive high school football coaching careers, Ciccotelli has a colorful career. His head coaching career began in 2002 with Rahway. He left the next year for the same position at Freehold, where he led the team for seven seasons and compiled Central Jersey, Group 3 state championships in 2008 and 2010. He won the same title with Neptune in 2011 -- the school’s first state title in 13 years. Ciccotelli coached elite prospects at St. John Vianney before leaving the job suddenly in the summer of 2015 for undisclosed reasons. As offensive coordinator of Cranford, Ciccotelli guided the offense of the 2015 state champion Cougars and coached one year at North Plainfield before taking the SP-F job.
Mark’s brother, Steve, is one of the more famed coaches in Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School athletic history. Steve Ciccotelli coached the Raiders for 21 seasons from 1991-2011, and took the team to the 2003 Section 2, Group 3 state championship at Giants Stadium.
Stack compiled a record of 12-38.
The new era in Scotch Plains football can begin June 1, when practice can begin, per NJSIAA rules. The season kicks off in early September.