The Board of Education announced the hiring of Jimmy Crane, a native of Beaumont, Texas, who spent the last nine years of his life coaching at The Woodlands High School in Woodlands, Texas, as the new head football coach at North Bergen.
The hiring of the 53-year-old Crane came as a complete shock, as there were reports of several local candidates in the running.
Crane moved in January to southern Bergen County to be with his wife, who has had a job for the past year in retail sales in New York.
He noticed the posting for the North Bergen position in a local newspaper, applied, and was officially hired after meeting with Board of Education officials and Mayor Nicholas Sacco last week.
Crane played high school football in Pasadena, Texas, a place made popular by the movie "Urban Cowboy," which featured the bar Gilley's and the mechanical bull. He then went on to play at Sam Houston State and began his coaching career in 1981.
Crane had a stint as an assistant coach at Hofstra University, where he coached the receivers under the late Joe Gardi, a member of the Hudson County Sports Hall of Fame. While Crane was at Hofstra, he coached former New York Jets standout Wayne Chrebet.
"I always said that the right job would come around and I believe North Bergen is the right job," Crane said. "North Bergen represents a great opportunity for me."
Ascolese retired at the end of the 2011 season that culminated in the Bruins winning the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group IV state championship in thrilling fashion over Montclair at MetLife Stadium last December, ending Ascolese's 39-year tenure as the Bruins' head coach.
To read more about the new North Bergen football coach, read Jim Hague's Scoreboard column in Sunday's editions of the Hudson Reporter Newspapers. -- Jim Hague