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Bush prepares for first season as Middletown North football coach

first_imgSteve Bush brings a wealth of coaching experience on high school, college and National Football League (NFL) levels as he takes over as Middletown High School North’s football coach.Bush succeeds Joe Trezza, who resigned after last season.“It’s going well,” said Bush, whose background includes two state playoff championships at high schools in New York and Massachusetts. “The kids have been great and are working hard. We’re getting things together and making progress.”Bush, who previously was head coach for seven seasons at Manalapan High School, said he was eager to get back into the area. Bush took the year off when he and the rest of the staff of the Miami Dolphins, where he coached for four years, was let go after head coach Tony Sparano was fired following the 2011 NFL season. Bush had one year left on his contract with the Dolphins last season as wide receivers coach, and he spent some time refocusing on where he was going from there.He heard Middletown North was looking for a coach for this season and remembered when he coached against the Lions at Manalapan, including an NJSIAA playoff loss.“They had some tough kids when we played Middletown North,” Bush said. “And when I applied, I was very impressed with the people running the school and the superintendent.”Bush was also impressed after meeting with the players, including Ryan McMahon, a senior this fall and frontrunner at quarterback for graduated standout athlete Cody Thompson. Last season, McMahon played in the defensive backfield. There’s also linebacker Dan Napolitano, defensive back Brandon Piccini, wide receiver/defensive back Jake Betkowski and two-way lineman John Quinn.Playing in Shore Conference A North, Middletown North has a bye week and opens on Sept. 20 at Shore Conference A South powerhouse Brick Memorial High School.Bush said he will run a spread offense, somewhat like the Lions have run in the past, and take advantage of opponents’ defensive breakdowns. Defensively, it’s an aggressive style but a work in progress, as Bush said he will adapt to his personnel from what he sees in summer workouts and preseason training that begins in mid-August.Bush started his coaching career as a graduate assistant for two years at Southern Connecticut State University, where he excelled as a defensive back. From there, he had three two-year coaching stints with New England colleges on the staffs at the University of New Haven, Boston University and Springfield College. He stayed in New England as a high school coach for three years at Longmeadow High School, which won 22 straight games and a Western Massachusetts championship.Bush went from there to Manalapan before becoming a defensive assistant for five years at Syracuse University under Paul Pasqualoni. He stayed in that area for a three-year stint at West Genesee High School in Camillus, N.Y., and won a state championship in his final season.Bush then took the big leap to the NFL before returning to the area in April. He resides in Tinton Falls. Bush grew up in Basking Ridge, where he excelled at Ridge High School playing for his dad, who was head coach there.“I’ve had the chance to be around some great people,” Bush said of his coaching experiences.Bush believes he is surrounding himself with some good coaches on his staff. Bush will be offensive coordinator, and he still is awaiting school board approval of a defensive coordinator. But he has George Kostas as line coach, looking to fill many spots opened by graduations on both sides of the ball; Jason Pino as running back and outside linebacker coach; and Geoff Massiminee as tight end and secondary coach. Dane Webster is the head freshman coach. MIDDLETOWN NORTH By WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent last_img

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