When last we left Rick Mantz on Central Jersey Sports Radio, he was delving into the history of Hillsborough football, where he left a lasting impact on the program, winning championships both as a youth growing up in town playing for the Raiders – kicking the game-winning field goal in the 1980 title game – and later as a head coach, in 2000, over heavy favorite Sayreville.
All because Hillsborough was about to win another one, finishing the 2021 season a perfect 13-0, with Kevin Carty Jr. at the helm as head coach, his did on his staff, and Rutgers-bound Tommy Amankwaa joined by Jay Mazuera, Will Dixon, and a host of others.
Mantz later turned around programs in South Brunswick and Passaic, but tonight, officially finds himself on the other end of Route 206 in Somerset County.
Tuesday night, the Board of Education approved Mantz to be the Panthers’ new football coach, replacing Scott Bray, who was 79-73 from 2007 to 2021, including a pair of 11-1 seasons in 2015 and ’16, and three straight trips to the sectional finals from 2015-2017, where they lost all three times to undefeated Westfield.
Mantz is a football legend. In addition to his stellar record from his teen years to adulthood at Hillsborough, he also turned around South Brunswick, and spent two years in a rebuilding effort at Passaic. He’s 113-69 in over a quarter century as a head coach.
Mike Pavlichko got a chance to talk with the new Bridgewater-Raritan head coach shortly after the Board of Ed. approved his hiring, and Superintendent Robert Beers welcomed Mantz to the district: