SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Longtime Scotch Plains-Fanwood soccer coach Tom Breznitsky is out as coach of the Raiders after a 45-year run and more than 750 victories.

At the SPFK12 Board of Education meeting on Thursday, Jan. 30, the BOE approved the appointment of Alex Passucci as the new Scotch Plains-Fanwood boys soccer varsity coach. Passucci, a Scotch Plains native who played for the Raiders and later for Fairleigh Dickinson University, served as an assistant at FDU for more than two decades and was inducted into the university's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017. Passucci was an assistant for the Raiders last season.

In more than four decades as varsity high school coach, “Brez” built one of the more successful high school soccer programs in the nation. During his long career, the Raiders won seven State Championships (1987, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1997 and 1998). While his teams have been competitive year in and year out, their last state title occurred more than two decades ago. 

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In September 2019, he notched his 750th victory when Scotch Plains-Fanwood defeated Steinert, 3-2. The Raiders finished the 2019 season at 12-8-3 and were eliminated by Elizabeth in the Union County semifinals by a score of 3-2 in OT. Two weeks later, Elizabeth again defeated Scotch Plains-Fanwood, 1-0, in the NJSIAA Tournament, Final Round, North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4. 

TAPintoSPF reached out to Coach Breznitsky on Thursday, but he was unavailable for comment.

During the public comments portion of the Board of Education meeting, Todd Moser, who played on Breznitsky's last three State Champions teams, implored the BOE to reconsider the decision.

"He coached for 41 years! With all that he accomplished, all he gets is a three-minute phone call? That's disrespectful," said Moser, a 1st Team All State player in both 1997 and 1998 and went on to become a team captain at Rutgers. "He's the second winningest coach in New Jersey and among the top five in the country."

"My job is to move the program forward," said SPFHS athletic director Ryan Miller in a phone interview with TAPintoSPF. "Scotch Plains-Fanwood Athletics is proud to have a home-grown head coach in Alex Passucci, who can blend the traditions of SPF soccer with a new and focused vision."

TAPintoSPF will have more about the career of Tom Breznitsky and will more formally introduce readers to Coach Passucci next week.

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