Last month, folks in the northern New Jersey high school football community were shocked to learn that Don Bosco Prep football head coach Greg Toal had retired.
With a 178-29 coaching record for 18 years at the Ramsey, NJ school, Toal brought national championships, state championships and introduced the state of New Jersey to the notion of football teams having a traveling schedule and playing other schools with similar prestige. He coached players that would go on to the NFL like Ryan Grant, Corey Wootton and current NFL prospect Jabrill Peppers.
Don Bosco Prep named Mike Teel the school’s new head coach, but word out of the Bergen County, NJ community is that Coach Toal’s exit is not as simple as some may think.
Appearing on tomorrow’s episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast, Steve Levy, a former quarterback of the school believes that there was a personal vendetta against the departed coach. “I think that the only people that thought Coach Toal was way too big for Don Bosco [was] leadership,” Levy said on Scoop B Radio.
“I feel like in my personal opinion, but there was a personal agenda in there with Father Jim Heuser, where when you say Don Bosco you think of Coach Toal. I don’t think Father Jim liked that very much. They haven’t spoken in over two years there is a video surfacing from news twelve that has Coach Toal’s three hundredth win and Father Jim Heuser wrapped around the kids congratulating Coach Toal telling the kids that Coach Toal is one of the top twenty five coaches in the country and the best high school football coach in the state and then four months later you fire the guy, fake retire him and then fire him? That’s what I am saying Scoop there is a lot going on here. There is a lot going on all that is going to surface and its just I feel and there is so many people that feel this way based off of what Father Jim has said to the press. I mean he set himself up Scoop. He made those comments at the press conference then he came back and wrote an e-mail to the alumni that someone leaked obviously public e-mail. Someone leaked to the papers. They made a huge deal of it. I read it I almost threw up in my mouth. It’s how asinine could one man be? I mean it’s just baffles me that they could handle this so poorly and then step on their own tail by doing this. Yes to answer your question absolutely there is a power struggle there.”
Don Bosco Prep President, Father Jim Heuser addressed the Toal retirement and hiring of new Don Bosco Prep head coach Mike Teel in a statement, saying:
“Change is never easy, and this change is no exception. However, having made the decision that now was the right time for this change, two points became clear. It was important to me that we honor and celebrate Coach Toal and everything he has achieved and done for the school and our students—in both an immediate and permanent manner. (We hope that we can reach an agreement with Coach Toal that will allow us to do so.) At the same time, however, it was important that we act promptly to provide a clear and solid path forward for our current students and our school. On that front, I believe that we have a new head coach in place that will well serve our students and the school for years to come.
Finally, there has been much discussion concerning the announcement of Coach Toal’s retirement before and during last week’s press conference. Prior to the press conference last Thursday, representatives of the Board of Trustees, including our Board Chairman, met with Coach Toal concerning my decision and left with a handshake and the clear understanding that he had agreed to retire from his position. Respecting that decision, we communicated that to our students, faculty, and other interested parties last week, as Coach Toal was advised was our intent. We were surprised to later learn that Coach Toal had apparently reversed his decision.”
Respected in his community for mentoring young men and more, Greg Toal coached for 33 years and has an all-time 305-55-2 record. He’s ranked 10th in wins, coaching in the state of New Jersey.
You can hear Steve Levy’s interview in it’s entirety tomorrow morning by visiting ScoopBRadio.com.