Corsetto resigns as NA head basketball coach

He had been the veteran of the coaching wars for more than 40 years, the last four as the head boys’ basketball coach at North Arlington High School.

But the pain in his feet couldn’t allow Rich Corsetto from finishing the current basketball season.

Corsetto resigned last week midway through the 2016-17 season, leaving the Vikings with a 7-9 record this season.

“The main reason for resigning is that I need to have to get surgery on my feet,” Corsetto said. “I have a nerve problem in my feet. I can’t stand anymore at practice. I felt like I was taking away from the kids. That’s the main reason.”

Rumors were swirling that Corsetto had an altercation with a player and was having difficulty dealing with assistant coaches Marcello D’Andrea and George Rotondo.

But Corsetto wanted to be quick to quell those rumors.

“It wasn’t that at all,” Corsetto said. “I have to get the surgery done now. I can’t wait until the end of the season. It’s been affecting me and the way I coach all season. The pain has gotten out of control. I couldn’t wait until March. The doctors told me that. I wasn’t able to do the things I was used to doing. I never wanted it to end this way.”

Corsetto, who recently celebrated the 300th win of his high school career and enjoyed his 800thwin as a coach overall last season, said that the team’s record had nothing to do with his departure.

“I’m not a quitter,” Corsetto said. “I’ve never been a quitter. I also have never had a losing season in my 37 years of being a head coach. I knew it was going to be a tough year. I understood that we lost five starters and all of the key players from last year. We had a losing record this year, but that had nothing to do with it.”

Corsetto had nothing but praise for the North Arlington athletic community as he departs.

“The administration of the school, the parents, the coaches, the kids, they’re all the best,” Corsetto said. “I love them all. People may say things, but I really love them all. I appreciate the opportunity they gave me to come back to coaching. I enjoyed my time in North Arlington.”
Corsetto was a successful coach on the junior college level, first at Hudson County Community College, then later Passaic County Community, before rejoining the high school ranks in North Arlington.

“The people in North Arlington made me feel like I was part of a family,” Corsetto said. “I wish them the best of luck.”

Although he’s 70 years old, Corsetto doesn’t want to think that his resignation as the North Arlington coach is a retirement.

“I hope to coach again some place,” Corsetto said. “I want to coach very much. After I get this taken care of, I’ll think about my future. But if I didn’t do this now, I would be in serious trouble. I feel like I’m in good shape and could coach again.”

D’Andrea and Rotondo will run the program until the end of the season, when the administration will decide upon a permanent replacement for Corsetto. There’s a good chance that either _ or both _ would be asked to remain on as the head boys’ basketball coach. It’s just that no one figured to be thinking in that direction during the course of the season.

Of course, Corsetto’s health comes first.

“It is what it is,” Corsetto said. “I didn’t want it to end this way.”

No one did. Leaving before the end of the season always leads to questions and doubts. It’s always hard for a new coach to implement any new strategies while games are going on. Plus, the Vikings are uncharacteristically struggling a little this season. It’s a typical down cycle for an NJSIAA Group I program.

So Corsetto’s sudden resignation last week did all of that _ and more _ to the Vikings. It has left good basketball men like D’Andrea and Rotondo to pick up the pieces and try to save what remains of the season. It won’t be easy.

Corsetto always found a way to get his name into print _ and he’s done so again with his sudden resignation in the middle of a season.


Rich Corsetto has resigned as the head boys’ basketball coach at North Arlington, effective immediately. Photo by Jim Hague

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Jim Hague | Observer Sports Writer

Sports Writer Jim Hague was with The Observer for 20+ years — and his name is one of the most recognizable in all of sports journalism. The St. Peter’s Prep and Marquette alum kicked off his journalism career post Marquette at the Daily Record, where he remained until 1985. Following shorts stints at two other newspapers, in September 1986, he joined the now-closed Hudson Dispatch, where he remained until 1991, when its doors were finally shut.

It was during his tenure at The Dispatch that Hague’s name and reputation as one of country’s hardest-working sports reporters grew. He won several New Jersey Press Association and North Jersey Press Club Awards in that timeframe.

In 1991, he became a columnist for The Hudson Reporter chain of newspapers — and he remains with them to this day.

In addition to his work at The Observer and The Hudson Reporter, Hague is also an Associated Press stringer, where he covers Seton Hall University men’s basketball, New York Red Bulls soccer and occasionally, New Jersey Devils hockey.

He’s also doing work at The Morristown Daily Record, the very newspaper where his journalism career began.

During his career, he also worked for Dorf Feature Services, which provided material for the Star-Ledger. While there, he covered the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets.

Hague is also known for his announcing work — and he’s done PA work for Rutgers Newark and NJIT.

Hague is the author of the book “Braddock: The Rise of the Cinderella Man.”