St. Joseph-Metuchen taps former Ridge mentor Bill Tracy to lead Falcons

New St. Joseph-Metuchen head coach Bill Tracy (Source: Twitter)

Two years removed from a highly successful run as the head football coach at Ridge – and after spending those two years as the offensive coordinator at Governor Livingston, coaching his son at quarterback – Bill Tracy is headed to the Brainy Boro.

Tracy – who won a state championship for the Red Devils with a perfect 12-0 season in 2013 – has been named St. Joseph’s head football coach. The school announced the hiring in a press release Wednesday.

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Having begun his head coaching career at Livingston, Tracy owns a career record of 127-101, including a 71-44 mark in eleven seasons at Ridge. He left after the 2019 season to coach his youngest son, Connor, at Governor Livingston, which went 4-2 in the COVID-shortened 2020 season, but struggled with a vast amount of youth in 2021.

Tracy is highly-regarded in New Jersey high school coaching circles. He’s known as a class individual, and a tactician, with a deeply-analytical mind for the game.

Ridge won at least seven games five times during Tracy’s tenure there, and went to two state finals, winning one of them. The Red Devils lost to Phillipsburg 34-7 in the North 2, Group 4 finals in his debut season in Basking Ridge, but beat Union in a “nearly-perfect” game in 2013, 48-13 at Rutgers to win the North 2, Group 5 crown. In that game, Ridge scored on all but one possession, when a field goal attempt hit one of the uprights.

Ironically, his best team at Livingston was knocked out of the playoffs by Ridge in 2003, as the Red Devils – then coached by Tom Falato – won their first-ever playoff championship. (Ridge was declared a state champion in Central Jersey Group 2 in 1987.)

Only the fourth head coach in St. Joe’s brief gridiron history, Tracy replaces Rich Hilliard, who stepped down this year after a five-season run with a 30-17 mark. Bob Molarz began the program in 2009, with the first varsity team taking the field in 2011; he was 8-11 in two seasons. Casey Ransone took the helm for the next four years, and went 26-13, running the table in the GMC to a pair of division titles in 2013 and 2016, his first and final seasons.

In a press release, school President John Nolan thanked Hilliard for his contributions to the “Falcon family,” and went on to welcome Tracy: “Beyond proving himself as a winner, Coach Tracy has demonstrated his dedication to student-athletes with exemplary character. This will remain a program committed to excellence both in the classroom and on the field.”

Athletic Director Mike Murray added, “His teaching goes beyond the X’s and O’s of the game,” referring to Tracy. “He also strives to instill integrity in the young men he coaches. In our search process, Coach Tracy showed that he’s a great fir for the Saint Joe’s community. I can’t wait to see out student-athletes mature and flourish under his tutelage.”

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Bill Tracy about becoming St. Joseph’s new head coach:

The Bill Tracy File”:

Ridge (71-44, 11 seasons)

  • 2019: 8-2
  • 2018: 8-2
  • 2017: 4-6
  • 2016: 8-2
  • 2015: 6-5
  • 2014: 4-6
  • 2013: 12-0 (North 2, Group 5 champions, beat Union 48-13)
  • 2012: 7-3
  • 2011: 3-7
  • 2010: 2-8
  • 2009: 9-3 (North 2, Group 4 finals, lost 34-7 to Phillipsburg)

Livingston (56-57, 11 seasons)

  • 2008: 9-3 (North 1, Group 4 champions, beat Hackensack 28-8)
  • 2007: 6-4
  • 2006: 3-7
  • 2005: 5-5
  • 2004: 3-7
  • 2003: 10-1
  • 2002: 4-6
  • 2001: 6-4
  • 2000: 1-9
  • 1999: 5-5
  • 1998: 4-6

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