John Amabile, Legendary N.J. Football Coach, Dies
John Amabile was a professional American football scout for the New York Giants and a former high school football coach and college football quarterback.
Amabile played quarterback for the Boston College Eagles from 1958-1960. He finished his career completing 163 of 329 passes (49.8%) for 2321 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions. He won the 1960 Thomas F. Scanlan Memorial Trophy, an award given to the senior football player outstanding in scholarship, leadership, and athletic ability. He played for the Jersey Giants of the Atlantic Coast Football League in 1964.
The legendary Amabile launched his career at Lincoln High School in 1967. From there he moved to Middletown High School, where he coached from 1970-1974. From 1977-1984, he coached Wall High School. He led the Crimson Knights to consecutive 11-0 seasons and NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III championships in 1982 and 1983. His teams won four straight Shore Conference divisional titles from 1981-1984.
In 1983 championship run against Long Branch High School Green Wave he orchestrated Wall Township to the winning touch down in a sensational fashion. It was one of the greatest games ever to be played at the shore. Amabile's football swag enabled him to focus on Long Branch's weaknesses. The game was tied 7 to 7 and Long Branch was driving down the field against Wall. It was inevitable that Long Branch was going to win the game. But out of no where the Wall defensive's player was able to strip the ball away from the Long Branch running back only to go in for the winning score 14 to 7. The Wall township crowd went into a frenzy! Amabile coached his team to an absolutely amazing victory.
Amabile also coached at Neptune High School from 1985-2000. From 1993-99, the Scarlet Fliers had a 33-game home winning streak. From 1994-1998, Neptune won five straight Shore Conference divisional titles, going unbeaten in 1995 and 1997. From 2003-2008, Amabile coached St. John Vianney. In his six seasons with the Lancers, Amabile had a 22-38 record, with only one winning season and playoff appearance. Amabile compiled an overall record of 252-172-11. Only Warren Wolf and Vic Kubu are believed to have more wins in the Shore Conference.
Amabile had so many sensational teams at Neptune High School. He was a wonderful man and great role model. I can remember the talent of Deshawn Hardy, a Neptune quarterback, and how Amabile's coaching had inspired this young man to greatest. Deshawn was absolutely a brilliant player. It was just amazing how he motivated his players to play at such a high level. He coached the sensational running back Scott Harley and many more. Thank you Mr. Amabile for so many memorable moments on the football field and for being a great human being.
Unheard Voices is honored to have had Mr. Amabile as apart of Monmouth County community. RIP
Ellis Jones contributed to this story.
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