Gurdineer Signs On as New Coach

Marcus Gurdineer was hired to be the new head football coach in April. (Photo Courtesy of Brad Wilson ||)

Aidan McHenry, Editor in Chief

The Warren Hills Regional School District has hired Marcus Gurdineer to be its next head football coach. The board began its search shortly after the 2019 season ended, after parting ways with George DiGrande who had just gone 3-7. 

Gurdineer previously was the head coach for rival Hackettstown, leading the Tigers to two victories in the last three years against the Blue Streaks. 

Gurdineer also has experience at the college level, first playing, then coaching, for Division III Utica under head coach Blaise Faggiano. 

This combined experience and a good relationship built with the administration led to his acceptance of the head coach job. 

It is a good fit,” Gurdineer said. “The administration that I have met with has been extremely supportive so far, there is a great community support for athletics and it works for my family and I.”

He comes to our school with a clear mindset– a mindset that includes building a winning culture. 

“A winning culture is what our staff wishes to create. Ultimately, this has nothing to do with the scoreboard, but more to do with the effort you put in and the refusal to quit,” Gurdineer said. “I have had successful seasons and seasons where we wish the win/loss column was better, but my favorite teams, regardless of record, have always been the ones who were tough and competed no matter the odds.”

Gurdineer further cemented his coaching mindset.

“The goal for the program is very simple: win every moment,” he said. “Do the best you can every second of every day. We should strive to push ourselves and to be the best version of ourselves each day. By taking advantage of every moment in preparation and execution, everything else we want will fall into place.”

Gurdineer stressed, however, that winning and working hard are not the only key pieces to the culture he is bringing to the football program. 

“In sports, every team has a one-year life span,” he said. “Last year and next year, the people and circumstances will change, leading to the product everyone sees to be different. Ultimately, we need to focus on the moment and not focus on aspects that are out of our control.”

Gurdineer said his  transition to the new position has required innovations, due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. His preparation for next season has included utilizing Google Classroom, Zoom and Hudl. 

“Obviously the shutdown has created obstacles for everyone in some capacity, and we are so appreciative of those who work hard every day to provide us the opportunity to play a game,” he said. “We are having team meetings to discuss culture expectations, staff meetings to develop practice plans and position meetings to install plays. This virtual classroom is providing us the opportunity to teach, learn, grow and prepare.”

Despite starting his tenure as head coach during the pandemic, Gurdineer said he is keeping his spirits up and enjoying family time.

“My daughter just turned one years old and she has been listening in on a lot of football instruction,” he said. “She may know the play book as well as anyone soon.”