Montclair, NJ – Montclair Public Schools Superintendent Jonathan Ponds announces a new high school varsity football coach, Mr. Jermain Johnson. His appointment was approved by a unanimous vote of the Montclair Board of Education at its meeting on May 4.
Coach Johnson comes to Montclair after a comprehensive search and brings nearly 20 years of coaching experience and four years as a Montclair State University player from 1992 to 1995 and another four years (1997, 2001, 2002, and 2004) as an arena football player. He was an assistant coach at Montclair State University from 1996 to 1999. His most recent post was head football coach at Belleville High School for the past four years. He takes the helm as the head of the Mountie Football program on July 1.
During his interview he stressed the importance of developing scholar athletes and players who are dedicated in the classroom as well as on the field. “His strong relationship with Division I programs throughout his coaching career will be influential in helping our players progress into the college arena,” said Superintendent Ponds. “I am excited to have Coach Johnson join our Montclair family.” Montclair High School (MHS) Principal Jeffrey Freeman said, “Coach Johnson stressed the importance of our student athletes being equipped with the necessary skill sets to be successful as students and athletes. He wants to make sure that our student athletes are successful while at MHS but most importantly in their lives after MHS.”
“I am truly blessed and honored for this opportunity to come at this time in my life,” said Coach Johnson. “I am excited to get started to work towards bringing back championships, getting our student athletes into colleges and bringing back pride to the city of Montclair.”
Coach Johnson is not only certified to teach Health and Physical Education (PE) but also has a background in Special Education and is certified in that as well. He was approved to teach Health and PE in September. “The district is lucky to find someone who can also teach and has the opportunity to be a mentor to the players in their academics,” said Ponds. “His passion for the sport is more than evident and he speaks with optimism and excitement when talking about building up young athletes.”
Athletic Director Patrick Scarpello offered his insight on Coach Johnson coming on board to be the next leader of the football program.
“When it came to explaining his offensive and defensive philosophies, Coach Johnson was seamless in his delivery and left no doubt in the search committee’s mind that he has an excellent football mind. The most important takeaway I have from my interactions with Coach Johnson is that he wants to be in Montclair and he wants to get to work right away. I am excited to support Coach Johnson as he begins his tenure as both a Physical Education/Health teacher and Head Football Coach,” said Scarpello. Freeman agreed, “I am very excited to have Coach Johnson here at MHS as a staff member and as the head football coach. He will be an asset to the MHS community!”
This week, Coach Johnson visited the high school and had an opportunity to become familiar with the atmosphere and culture of Montclair. Freeman reflected that on this informal tour, students were filled with excitement to see Coach Johnson. He is meeting with the football team today for a formal introduction. The Athletic Department is planning a meet and greet for the football community next week at The Aubrey Lewis Sports Complex. Please join us in welcoming Coach Johnson to Montclair.