New head football coach Beh hits the ground running at North Arlington

As the youngest head football coach in the state, Ali Beh knows that his rise in the coaching ranks has been a rapid one. And as the 25-year-old gears up for his first season as the head coach at North Arlington, Beh can’t help but think about that journey, while also putting his stamp on a program that is starting anew after heavy losses to graduation.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity and I’ll be honest, I think about it every day,” said Beh “I think about it every day and then it just snaps back into reality. I look back and it’s like wow, I’m really the youngest head coach in the whole state. I’m very grateful and I don’t take it for granted.”

As a sophomore, Beh played at the now-defunct Queen of Peace in North Arlington before he returned home to Weequahic and as a senior was a part of the first undefeated state championship team in Newark history.

Beh knew he wanted to get into coaching while he was playing at Kean and decided to become an assistant at Weequahic for hall of fame head coach Brian Logan. Since then, Beh has coached at Shabazz, William Paterson University, a high school in Pennsylvania, and most recently, at Newark East Side.

Beh, who also coaches the girls flag football team at Shabazz was set to return to coaching in college when he interviewed and was hired to be the new head football coach at North Arlington in April.

Beh replaces Joe Borkowski, who after leading the Vikings to back-to-back state tournament appearances, left to become the head coach at Hoboken.

With more than 35 players for summer workouts before the arrival of the incoming freshmen, Beh and his staff have hit the ground running with putting their stamp on the program.

‘“It’s a brand new offense, brand new defense, brand new team and everything. So its about setting that culture, showing how we want to do things,” said Beh. “I can tell you that the kids are very enthused. The kids are always ready to go. They always want more. When you have kids that really want it and understand the will, it makes it much easier.

“The coaches are using this opportunity to really evaluate what guys can do. For us, it’s just installing and evaluating.”

Following the graduation of 16 seniors from last year’s team, Beh and the Vikings enter the summer with essentially a fresh start for everyone. While he know the lack of veteran experience could lead to some early growing pains, with a strong sophomore class, Beh is confident that the future is bright at North Arlington.

Our sophomore class is loaded. So overall, by the time they grow in their senior year, when you look at a two or three year outlook, it’s positive,” Beh said. “It’s a blank canvas and I love it that way because now, it’s like we get to paint and leave our own mark. We get to make our mark and build that foundation and we get more into the summertime, the training wheels are starting to come off.”

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Jason Bernstein | Observer Sports Writer

Jason Bernstein joined The Observer as its sports writer in March 2022, following the retirement of Jim Hague. He has a wealth of sports-writing experience, including for NJ Advance Media (, The Jersey Journal, The Star-Ledger.)