SUMMIT, NJ- After leading Summit High School to its second state sectional championship in the past four seasons last month, head football coach John Liberato is stepping down, effective Jan. 8, 2013.

Liberato, who has coached a total of 25 years, said the time was right and it was nice to go out after a winning season.  

After a 3-7 record in his first year, Summit made five straight postseason appearances, appearing in three sectional finals and winning two state titles – in North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2 in 2009 and in North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 this past season.

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With the support of his family, he made this important decision with confidence knowing it was time to move on. He told his players in school on Tuesday about his resignation and Liberato said they weren’t surprised, but rather wondering who the next coach will be.

“There’s no better place to coach than Summit High School,” he said. “I am so thankful for the opportunity that Summit gave me.”

One of his fondest memories from Summit is standing on the 50 yard line at Giants Stadium with his team as thousands of fans cheered for them after winning the sectional state championship, according to Liberato. While he will miss the camaraderie and being on the gridiron, he said he will still remain a physical education teacher at Summit High School and see his students during the school day.

In addition to his six years at Summit, Liberato coached football at Hanover Park, wrestling in Parsippany and winter and spring track at New Providence High School.