LITTLE SILVER, NJ – Red Bank Regional’s first home game against Matawan on Friday, September 15, will set the stage to honor the most successful coach in the Red Bank (Regional) and High School’s history. The athletic field road will be named for Robert Strangia, who coached RBR’s football coach from 1970 to 1975. The path begins at the historic Red Bank cannons on the east side of the RBR campus which leads to the football field and winds around the back of the school building.
A special ceremony will take place at 6:15 pm before the scheduled 7 pm football game. RBR Athletic Director Del Dal Pra, along with Coach Strangia’s players, will place the road sign and unveil a commemoration plaque. RBR is located at 101 Ridge Road in Little Silver.
Part of the dedication plaque states, “Dedicating Robert Strangia Way as a path to the stadium field where the historic 1975 Central Jersey Group II Championship Game was played symbolizes the past, present and future of Red Bank Regional. Coach Strangia is a legend and a leader that put Red Bank Regional’s Football Team in the record books and RBR on the map..”
The impetus to specially honor Coach Strangia originated with his most ardent fans, his former players. They will be selling t-shirts for the event to fund the cost of the plaque and road sign. The $10 cost of the shirt will also admit patrons to the football game. During half-time, the player alumni will be joined by current RBR players to participate in a special half-time ceremony commemorating the event.
Robert Strangia joined the RBR teaching staff in the late 60s and enjoyed an educational career spanning four decades, which included his elevation to Supervisor of the History Department. Coach Strangia’s historic career as the BUCs football coach was highlighted by three undefeated teams in 1971, 1974 and 1975, and one of the longest winning streaks in the Shore Conference history of 28 and 0 from 1973-1975 . His players included two future NFL players: Lonnie Algood (Syracuse Univ. and played for the Cincinnati Bengals) and “Big” John Lee (Nebraska Univ. and played for the San Diego Chargers). Coach Strangia is a member of the NJ Sports Hall of Fame. He is credited for transforming the lives of his players, not just as a coach, but as a father-figure. He retired to Florida and, unfortunately, is not able to travel to the festivities but will be well-presented by his family, friends and beloved players.
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These feelings are memorialized on the plaque which states, “Robert Strangia’s philosophy, character and dedication to the students of Red Bank Regional High School transcended the confines of the building. The lessons he taught, the morals he valued, and the effort he put forth, will forever be embedded in the Red Bank Regional community for many generations to come.”