Delsea's Marchese Announces Retirement

by Marc Narducci | Dec 20, 2023
Delsea's Marchese Announces Retirement
Sal Marchese Jr. had the unenviable task of following a legend only to become one himself.

After 31 years as head football coach of Delsea, Marchese recently announced his resignation. Marchese, 57, departs as one of the most accomplished coaches in South Jersey history.

He compiled a record of 249-83-1 at Delsea with 11 South Jersey championships and one state crown. It must be noted that NJSIAA public schools didn’t begin competing for a state title until 2022. Marchese guided the Crusaders to the state championship game in the first season 2022 and then won it this year in what turned out to be his final game, a 28-3 victory over West Essex.

“After 31 years, I knew it was kind of time,” Marchese said.

Marchese is a 1985 Delsea graduate who played for the legendary coach John Oberg, the man he would eventually follow as the Crusaders coach.

There have been just two football coaches in Delsea’s 64 years field football team—Oberg and Marchese. Oberg accumulated 231 wins.

“One thing coach Oberg and my father said was ‘make sure you surround yourself with great people because you are not going to be able to do it yourself,” Marchese said.

His father, the late Sal Marchese Sr., was a long-time assistant coach under Oberg. The younger Marchese had a staff that contained many longtime assistant coaches.

He mentioned that Tom Maxwell was with him for 28 seasons and Ronn Flaim and Rob Briles were both there with him for more than two decades. 

Marchese was a standout quarterback and linebacker at Delsea. He played a season of college football at Towson University and Glassboro State College (now Rowan University).

Marchese began his coaching career while still in college. He began as an assistant at Buena, a job he would hold for five seasons. There, he coached under another coach Chuck Donohue. 

After five seasons at Buena, he became the head coach at Delsea.

Marchese is also an assistant track coach, and he says he will remain in that capacity at least through this season. 

As for football, Marchese put so much into the job that he said the past two or three seasons it has been a year-by-year decision whether to continue coaching.

“It’s a 12-month a year job the way we do it at Delsea,” he said. “Just talking to some of the veteran coaches over the years, they always told me I would know when it is time.”

That time is now.

Marchese couldn’t have departed in a grander way, with Delsea winning the state championship.

“It was a great experience and last year we got in it and came up a little short,” he said. “To go out winning a state championship, it was definitely an exclamation point to a long career.”

 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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