LITTLE SILVER, NJ - It was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Last year, Red Bank Regional’s Girls’ Basketball team had achieved its best record in over a decade in their previous season, but graduated seven of their players. Additionally, their previously successful basketball coach, James Young left to coach at Monmouth University this past summer and the girls did not meet his replacement until two weeks before the season was to begin. But the coach coming in was John Truhan, dubbed by Hoops Group as the “Bill Parcells of Girls’ Basketball” and he delivered.
RBR’s Girls’ Basketball Team pulled in a real Cinderella season as the supposed “rebuilding team” equaled their previous year’s record of 17 and 12 and advanced to the State Section Semifinals. For this amazing feat, John Truhan was named New Jersey’s Girls High School Basketball Coach of the Year by the Hoop Group. (According to their website, “The Hoop Group is a worldwide leader in basketball instruction since 1963.”)
RBR’s Athletic Director Del Dal Pra states, “Coach JT is a wonderful addition to our coaching staff. I knew getting him to come to RBR and commute every day from Central Regional (where he lives and teaches) was going to be a tough sell but once he met our kids and starting working with them I know he was all in and we were in for a special season.”
Blogger Tiny Green wrote about the Hoop Group’s selection, “The Coach of the Year Award does not go to the best team or the team that wins the most. Coach of the Year, is about doing more with less and (this weighs mightily). The Coach of the Year must make sure their players and parents respect them and trust them. Nobody did a better job this year in these areas than The Hoop Group 2018 Coach of the Year is John Truhan of Red Bank Regional.”
This year’s Girls’ team counted only two of last year’s players, senior Bridget Tobin and junior Megan Murray, both of Little Silver, neither of who had much playing time last year.
Bridget Tobin states of her coach, “He is the best. This year we weren’t expected to do much with graduating seven seniors. As a junior I did not get much experience. He grounded us with a work ethic and we went into the gym every day and worked hard. The mindset changed from who was going to score and we began working together better to win. His coaching and leadership made the game easier and it was awesome.”
Megan Murray adds, “He took a team that no one ever thought would be good and helped us believe in ourselves, and he motivated us to work hard and beat teams that he knew we could.”
Meghan adds, that Coach Truhan taught them to concentrate on their strengths.
She explains, “For instance, we were very good at hard pressure defense so we tried to fluster the other team and catch them off guard with our ball pressure.”
She looks forward to building on their skills and going even further next year.
Coach Truhan came to RBR with a stellar record and many accolades accumulated during 18 years coaching basketball including induction into the New Jersey State Coaches Hall of Fame.
He states of this year’s success, “I felt welcome from the day I walked into the gym, from administration and other coaches and teachers. It was a great start and hopefully we will build upon it and go further next year. I really view this as a team award because they did all the work.”