Nick Pulli Takes Over Gateway Football

by Marc Narducci | Jul 24, 2020
Nick Pulli Takes Over Gateway Football
Nick Pulli has come from great football roots. A 2014 graduate of West Deptford, he played for Clyde Folsom, considered among the best coaches in South Jersey history.
Now Pulli is preparing for his first head coaching job. After serving as offensive line coach for Kingsway last season he has been named the new football coach at Gateway.
He replaces Josh Mason who resigned after last season, following an incredibly successful reign.
Before Mason took over in 2015, Gateway had consecutive 0-10 seasons. In fact during the five years before Mason’s arrival, the Gators were 3-47.
After going 3-7 in his first season, Mason had records of 5-5, 4-6, 8-3, 9-1 and last year 8-3. In 2018, Gateway won the West Jersey Football League Memorial Division, going 5-0 in the division and beating perennial heavyweights Paulsboro and Woodbury to win the crown.
Before Mason took over, Gateway was considered a tough place to win, but he showed that there is hope if the right ingredients are in place, including excellent coaching.
Now Pulli takes over and is looking to keep the momentum going.
“I am extremely excited and this is a great opportunity,” Pulli said. “I am very fortunate to be taking over a program that coach Mason developed into one of the prime teams in Group 1. The kids have confidence and there is a good group of younger players and I am excited.”
Yes, it has been difficult taking over during the pandemic, but Pulli is still plowing along, making the best of a difficult time.
At West Deptford he was a tight end and defensive end and then he attended the University of Maryland on a track scholarship, where he threw the shot put, discus and hammer.
After college he joined the West Deptford staff as an assistant football coach, working for Folsom’s successor, Jason Morrell.
“I got to learn from so many good people at West Deptford and I am thankful for that,” Pulli said.
Then last season he went to Kingsway and was part of a team that advanced to the Central Jersey Group 5 championship before losing to Cherokee. He worked another another outstanding coach at Kingsway, Mark Hendricks.
“That was another situation where we had great talent and a great coaching staff at Kingsway and it was a great experience,” Pulli said.
He was named Gateway’s coach in late February, got to meet with the team and begin weight room workouts for less than three weeks before the pandemic hit.
Now he is preparing for a season in which we don’t know if it will be played. The NJSIAA is allowing teams to have summer workouts. Tentatively the football season has been moved back to an Oct. 2 start, but everything is subject to change.
By Aug. 28, the NJSIAA says it is expected to make a decision on the season.
For now Pulli is doing the best to prepare his team and is excited each day as he prepares for his first season. He will also teach health and physical education at Gateway and he remains grateful to get this opportunity at a school that has tasted great recent success, which he hopes to continue.

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Author: Marc Narducci


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