Austin Holman out as football coach at Scotch Plains-Fanwood in the middle of 5th season

Austin Holman (right), shown here with his brother Tarig, the St. Thomas Aquinas head coach, at the inaugural Big Central Media Days this past August at Iron Peak Sports & Events in Hillsborough. (file photo)

In the middle of his fifth season as head football coach at Scotch Plains-Fanwood, Austin Holman is out, and an interim head coach is expected to be named later this week.

Holman – in a text message to Central Jersey Sports Radio – says he “had to step away from (the) team for personal reasons.”

CJSR had reached out to him as part of the typical game week prep for our Friday night broadcast, which has the Raiders (1-3) hosting Westfield (1-2) at 7 pm for the first-ever night game in their long rivalry. Click here to listen.

Holman said he could not comment further.

His Twitter bio says he is the head track and field coach at Elizabeth High School, but no mention is made of Scotch Plains-Fanwood football. And the Twitter page for the Raider football team (@SPFRaiderFB) was offline as of 12:30 Tuesday afternoon.

Holman did not coach last Thursday’s game at Rahway, a 27-12 loss.

But just two weeks ago, both Holmans coached in what had come to be known in recent years as “The Holman Bowl,” the fourth meeting between the brothers as opposing head coaches at various schools. Aquinas won the game, and now each has two wins against the other.

READ MORE: Sibling rivalry sparks Holmans as Austin’s Raiders, Tarig’s Trojans get set to meet Friday night

Reached for comment, SPF Athletic Director Ryan Miller said in an email, “I cannot comment about our head coach at this time.”

However, Miller did say, “We will have a coaching staff in place,” in reference to Friday’s game. He said he could not comment on an interim head coach “until the Board of Education meeting which is Thursday, the 21st, but that’s just two days away, and before Friday’s home game against Westfield.

Holman took over a 1-8 Scotch Plains team from Mark Ciccotelli in 2019, and went 4-6 that first year, winning five games each in 2020 and 2021, then going 2-8 last season.

In four-and-a-half seasons, Holman’s Raiders went 17-25, qualifying for the playoffs once – in 2021 – but they were ineligible after an early-season brawl resulted in numerous player disqualifications that also made them ineligible for postseason play, per NJSIAA rules.

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