Camano named new Harrison hoops coach

When Jose Camano was a three-sport superstar during his heyday at Harrison High School 10 years ago, he dreamed of one thing.

“Ever since I dribbled a soccer ball or a basketball, I had one thing in mind,” Camano said. “I always had the attitude of being a coach. I always wondered if one day I could be a coach. It was always in the back of my head.”

Three years ago, when Bill Mullins was the head boys’ basketball coach at Harrison, he asked Camano to be an assistant coach.

“That was my first assistant coaching job,” Camano said. “I would go to AAU games and see how other coaches acted. I learned a lot. When I was a player, I thought I knew it all, but it was totally different. I saw the game so totally different.”

Camano paid his dues, working behind Mullins and last year’s head coach Fred Confessore, who decided to not return.

“I found out about two months ago that he wasn’t going to do it again,” Camano said. “As soon as I found out, I told (Harrison athletic director) Kim (Huaranga) that I wanted the job. I put in for it right away.”

Last week, it became official. The 28-year-old Camano, the 2008-2009 Observer Male Athlete of the Year, was named as the new head coach of the Blue Tide.

Camano said that Confessore put a lot of the coaching responsibilities last year in his hands.

“He did give me a lot of responsibility,” Camano said. “I thought about how I would want to run my practices the day I would become a head coach. I just didn’t think it would happen so soon.”

Camano knows that he has a tough road to follow, considering the Blue Tide won all of three games last season.

“I know it’s a tough challenge,” Camano said. “I have to get these kids mentally prepared. The kids know me. I’ve been there for three years. They know what I bring to the table. I’m pretty sure we’re going to have a good year.”

Camano said that he wants to establish an up-tempo style with the Blue Tide.

“I want to play fast,” Camano said. “I want to go up and down the court. I also want to bring the physicality back to Harrison, like we had when I played. I’m also a big defensive coach. I want the kids to know how to play defense.”

Defense will be the key with Camano’s Blue Tide.

“I will be constantly changing defenses,” Camano said. “I want the kids to play defense like maniacs.”

Camano was asked if being a former standout player himself will help him coach the Blue Tide.

“I think the game is always evolving,” Camano said. “But being a former player, I have an advantage. I’m also a young coach who understands the game. That’s going to help me. I think that’s a big factor, because I have an understanding of what they are going through. I can communicate better with them, because I am younger.”

Camano was also asked what it was going to be like going from the beloved assistant coach to the hated head coach.

“I’m okay with being the villain,” Camano said. “I guess I’ll always have to be the mean person. I just have to adapt.”

Make no bones about it. Camano is thrilled to be the new head coach at his alma mater.

“Words can’t begin to describe how excited I am,” Camano said. “I’m super excited. I’ve wanted this for a long time. I wanted to coach when I was a player. Now I’m the head coach in the same building where I played. It means everything to me.”




Harrison has named former Observer Male Athlete of the Year Jose Camano as the new boys’ basketball coach. Photo courtesy of Jose Camano


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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.”