John Doherty Resigns as Eastern Head Football Coach

by Marc Narducci | Dec 15, 2020
John Doherty Resigns as Eastern Head Football Coach
John Doherty decided that being in two places at one time was becoming increasingly difficult, so he has taken a step back during his coaching career after resigning as the head football coach at Eastern.
This was a difficult season for any football coach, dealing with the numerous issues created by COVID. Doherty, 48, also had the challenging situation of coaching at one school and working at another. He is a guidance counselor at Pennsauken. 
“I am just taking a little break,” Doherty said. “It was getting hard being in different buildings, with so much going on and just everything busier and then throw COVID into it.”
This year Eastern wasn’t able to play a full schedule, finishing 1-4. Doherty ended his four seasons at Eastern 16-17, but that doesn’t tell the true story.
He took over a program that had gone 4-6 the previous year and 6-24 the three years before his arrival. Doherty guided the Vikings to the postseason in each of his first three seasons.
Doherty had done even a greater turnaround in his previous job at Paul VI. He took over one of the worst programs in South Jersey, one that went 0-10 before his arrival and 4-45 in the previous six seasons before he was hired. Doherty would end up going 75-56 at Paul VI, won several conference titles and built the Eagles into one of the most respected programs in South Jersey. 
What he did at Paul VI was help engineer one of the better turnarounds in South Jersey history. And he continued to have success at Eastern until this season.
Eastern was supposed to open the season against Washington Township, but COVID postponed the school. The Vikings then turned out facing Union, a power team from North Jersey.
Union won convincingly and then Eastern had to face Lenape, which was among the top teams in South Jersey. 
That was followed by a 42-25 loss to a Winslow Township team that was having a breakout, turnaround season. 
Eastern then beat Jackson, 42-21. That was an impressive win, since Jackson entered the game with a 4-2 record. 
Eastern concluded its season with a 37-29 loss to Washington Township in a game that was rescheduled from opening day.
This was a young Eastern team and whomever is Doherty’s success will benefit from having so many sophomores earn experience. Doherty said 12 sophomores saw starting time.
By the end of the season the Vikings were down to 25 players due to injuries and COVID.
“I was happy with the way our kids battled through COVID and injuries,” Doherty said.
That was always a trademark of a Doherty team, one that never stopped fighting, and played hard on every snap.
Doherty would like to stay in coaching. Before becoming head coach at Eastern he was the defensive coordinator. 
While being a coordinator is tie consuming, it doesn’t compare to that of a head coach, whose responsibilities go well beyond x’s and o’s. 
Wherever he lands there is a good chance the team he is associated with will be a winner, just as Doherty has been throughout his career. 
© 2020. All rights reserved. This article or parts thereof may not be reprinted or reproduced by any other party without the express written consent of For more information, please call 856-797-9910.

Article continues below


To receive special deals directly from, subscribe here.

For more Local Sports features, visit our South Jersey Sports page.

Author: Marc Narducci


Who’s Who in Health Care

Southern Charm


Hitting Her Stride

Top Dentists 2024

Making Moves

Living in the Moment

Best of the Shore 2024

Best of the Best 2024

IP Protection in an AI World

Should Joel Embiid be competing in the Olympics?

The Real Deal

Millville’s Droz Proves a Worthy No. 1 Candidate

The Impact of Inflation

Holy Spirit’s Callaghan gets MLS Head Coaching Job